see also: Cant
Pronunciation Noun

cant (uncountable)

  1. (countable) An argot, the jargon of a particular class or subgroup.
    Synonyms: argot, jargon, slang
    He had the look of a prince, but the cant of a fishmonger.
    • 1836, Three discourses preached before the Congregational Society in Watertown, page 65 ↗
      quote en
  2. (countable, uncountable) A private or secret language used by a religious sect, gang, or other group.
    Synonyms: argot, jargon, slang
  3. language spoken by some Irish Travellers; Shelta.
  4. (uncountable, pejorative) Empty, hypocritical talk.
    People claim to care about the poor of Africa, but it is largely cant.
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, Book IV ch iv
      quote en
    • 1759-1770, Laurence Sterne, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy
      quote en
    • 1903, Samuel Butler, The Way of All Flesh, ch 46:
      ... he knew very well that if they thought him clever they were being taken in, but it pleased him to have been able to take them in, and he tried to do so still further; he was therefore a good deal on the look-out for cants that he could catch and apply in season, and might have done himself some mischief thus if he had not been ready to throw over any cant as soon as he had come across another more nearly to his fancy ...
  5. (uncountable) Whining speech, such as that used by beggars.
  6. (countable, heraldry) A blazon of a coat of arms that makes a pun upon the name (or, less often, some attribute or function) of the bearer, canting arms.
  7. (obsolete) A call for bidders at a public fair; an auction.
Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Verb

cant (cants, present participle canting; past and past participle canted)

  1. (intransitive) To speak with the jargon of a class or subgroup.
  2. (intransitive) To speak in set phrases.
  3. (intransitive) To preach in a singsong fashion, especially in a false or empty manner.
  4. (intransitive, heraldry) Of a blazon, to make a pun that references the bearer of a coat of arms.
  5. (obsolete) To sell by auction, or bid at an auction.

cant (plural cants)

  1. (obsolete) Side, edge, corner, niche.
    Under the cant of a hill.
    • 1604, Ben Jonson, The Coronation Triumph
      The first and principal person in the temple was Irene, or Peace; she was placed aloft in a cant.
  2. Slope, the angle at which something is set.
    • 1881–1882, Robert Louis Stevenson, “‘Pieces of Eight’”, in Treasure Island, London; Paris: Cassell & Company, published 14 November 1883, OCLC 702939134 ↗, part V (My Sea Adventure), page 218 ↗:
      Owing to the cant of the vessel, the masts hung far out over the water, and from my perch on the cross-trees I had nothing below me but the surface of the bay.
  3. A corner (of a building).
    Synonyms: corner
  4. An outer or external angle.
  5. An inclination from a horizontal or vertical line; a slope or bevel; a tilt.
    Synonyms: bevel, slope, tilt
  6. A movement or throw that overturns something.
    • 1830, The Edinburgh Encyclopedia, volume 3, page 621 ↗
      It is not only of great service in keeping the boat in her due position on the sea, but also in creating a tendency immediately to recover from any sudden cant, or lurch, from a heavy wave; and it is besides beneficial in diminishing the violence of beating against the sides of the vessel which she may go to relieve.
  7. A sudden thrust, push, kick, or other impulse, producing a bias or change of direction; also, the bias or turn so given.
    to give a ball a cant
  8. (coopering) A segment forming a side piece in the head of a cask.
  9. A segment of the rim of a wooden cogwheel.
  10. (nautical) A piece of wood laid upon the deck of a vessel to support the bulkheads.
Related terms Translations Translations
  • Russian: перевёртывание

cant (cants, present participle canting; past and past participle canted)

  1. (transitive) To set (something) at an angle.
    to cant a cask; to cant a ship
  2. (transitive) To give a sudden turn or new direction to.
    to cant round a stick of timber; to cant a football
  3. (transitive) To bevel an edge or corner.
  4. (transitive) To overturn so that the contents are emptied.
Translations Translations
  • German: abschrägen
  • Russian: кантовать

cant (cants, present participle canting; past and past participle canted)

  1. (transitive, obsolete) To divide or parcel out.

cant (plural cants)

  1. (regional, forestry) A parcel, a division.

cant (not comparable)

  1. (British, dialect) Lively, lusty.

Proper noun
  1. Surname

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