Definition of chant in English:

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Pronunciation: /CHant/


1A repeated rhythmic phrase, typically one shouted or sung in unison by a crowd.
Example sentences
  • The rhythmic chant spread through the crowd of hundreds of thousands that filled Kiev's Independence Square on the evening of November 22.
  • Shouts and chants went up from the crowd as the lights drifted nearer.
  • And then they are off again, singing and repeating the chant over and over.
shout, cry, call, rallying call, cheer, slogan
1.1A monotonous or repetitive song, typically an incantation or part of a ritual.
Example sentences
  • An assembly of 90 monks conducted Buddhist ritual chants and prayers sanctifying the ceremony.
  • Marshall also witnessed the Big Drum dance in Carriacou, a spiritual ritual that involves chants, fire, dancing and song.
  • Since sickness is often seen as a problem of spiritual essence, the khwan, chants, and healing rituals are often used to cure illnesses.
incantation, intonation, singing, song, plainsong, recitative
2 Music A short musical passage in two or more phrases used for singing unmetrical words; a psalm or canticle sung to such music.
Example sentences
  • Although I enjoy chants and church music quite a bit, I had not, for some time, felt the need to attend a church service.
  • At Milan, where at first he used to come to the cathedral to admire Ambrose's oratorical skill, he found himself not only impressed by the content of the discourses but also gripped by the psalm chants.
  • Contrast was provided by alternating choral chant with passages sung by soloists.
2.1The style of music consisting of chants: Gregorian chant
More example sentences
  • It's a style that characterises Byzantine chant, which emerged in the Eastern Church, and is continued in today's Greek Orthodox tradition.
  • A noted musicologist whose interests include chant, medieval music and Tudor keyboard music, he has written many chamber and choral pieces.
  • Symphony No 3 is a more expansive, more fully developed piece which emerged from a protracted period of study of chant and early polyphony.


[with object]
1Say or shout repeatedly in a singsong tone: protesters were chanting slogans [with direct speech]: the crowd chanted, “No violence!”
More example sentences
  • Republican slogans were chanted and around 20 protesters attempted to hold a sit-down protest in the middle of the street.
  • At recess, the teacher found a group of her girls chanting that slogan on the playground.
  • They really are better at wearing the ribbons and badges, chanting the slogans and marching on the demonstrations.
shout, chorus, repeat
1.1Sing or intone (a psalm, canticle, or sacred text).
Example sentences
  • If the death is a long prolonged death, then we like to chant certain texts, so that the dying person hears the name of God recited constantly.
  • Nevertheless, it is customary for newlyweds to attend the local monastery later for a blessing and a simple ceremony in which texts are chanted.
  • They sing devotional songs in praise of the lord, and holy texts are chanted throughout the night.
sing, intone, incant


Late Middle English (in the sense 'sing'): from Old French chanter 'sing', from Latin cantare, frequentative of canere 'sing'.

  • enchant from Late Middle English:

    Enchant is from French enchanter, from Latin incantare, which was based on cantare ‘to sing’. These Latin words gave us chant (Late Middle English), canticle (Middle English) a ‘little song’, and incantation (Late Middle English). The original meanings of enchant were ‘to put under a spell’ and ‘to delude’. Enchanter's nightshade (late 16th century) was believed by early botanists to be the herb used in potions by the enchantress Circe of Greek mythology, who charmed Odysseus' companions and turned them into pigs. See charm, incentive

Words that rhyme with chant

aren't, aslant, aunt, can't, courante, détente, enchant, entente, grant, implant, Nantes, plant, shan't, slant, supplant, transplant, underplant

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: chant

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