Definition of cantor in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkan(t)ər/
Pronunciation: /ˈkantôr/


1An official who sings liturgical music and leads prayer in a synagogue. Also called hazzan.
Example sentences
  • Synagogue services can be led by a rabbi, a cantor or a member of the congregation.
  • One thing I remember clearly is how she sang the cantor in the synagogue service.
  • His mother was Rosalie Israelssohn while his father was Adolf Lasker, a cantor in the synagogue whose role there was to lead the liturgical prayers and chanting.
2(In formal Christian worship) a person who sings solo verses or passages to which the choir or congregation responds.
Example sentences
  • In my parish, I'm a cantor and choir member, and I really enjoy singing and leading the congregation in song.
  • The ceremony is begun by the priest, assisted by a cantor or church choir that sings the responses.
  • The collection for parish choirs, congregations and cantors features new compositions by Liam Lawton and Kiltimagh born composer Ronan McDonagh.


Mid 16th century: from Latin, 'singer', from canere 'sing'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: can·tor

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