There are 2 main definitions of cant in English:

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cant1

Line breaks: cant
Pronunciation: /kant
 
/

noun

[mass noun]
1Hypocritical and sanctimonious talk, typically of a moral, religious, or political nature: he had no time for the cant of the priests about sin
More example sentences
  • For cant, humbug and moral spinelessness, this took some beating.
  • It annoyed Flaubert mightily that purveyors of political cant should be greeted with more ballyhoo than gifted poets.
  • Most orthodox historians think that comments like these are mere hypocritical cant.
Synonyms
hypocrisy, sanctimoniousness, sanctimony, humbug, pietism, affected piety, insincerity, sham, lip service, empty talk, pretence
2Language specific to a particular group or profession and regarded with disparagement: thieves' cant
More example sentences
  • The history of various families in Athy, their way of life, religion, superstition, Traveller cures and the Traveller language or cant are all documented.
  • Fagin, Sykes and Dodger use much more Dickensian language and pepper their sentences with thieves' cant.
  • Some were familiar with the culture of the London underworld, and thieves' cant became the ‘flash’ language of the barracks and factories.
Synonyms
2.1 [as modifier] Denoting a phrase or catchword temporarily current or in fashion: herstories’ rather than ‘histories’ as the cant phrase goes
More example sentences
  • Such poets as these, and Lowell especially, gave rise to the critics' cant phrase, ‘confessional poetry’, which is seriously unhelpful.
  • There is, to be sure, room for adjustment to the GST tax base, most of which should take the form of ‘rollback’, to adopt the cant phrase of the day.
  • In literary conversations, he is only capable of repeating cant phrases and dropping names.

verb

[no object] dated Back to top  
Talk hypocritically and sanctimoniously about something: if they’d stop canting about ‘honest work’ they might get somewhere
More example sentences
  • They have tried upon me all their various batteries of pious whining, hypocritical canting, lying and slandering.
  • For someone who's worked in the media for 10 years, the idea that illicit passion is not part of that is such nonsense that I think maybe it's time some of the canting stopped.
  • Imitating the canting voice of a hypocritical preacher, Douglass then gave a several-paragraph sermon based on the principle that obedience to the slavemaster is obedience to God.

Origin

early 16th century: probably from Latin cantare 'to sing' (see chant). The early meaning was 'musical sound, singing'; in the mid 17th century this gave rise to the senses 'whining manner of speaking' and 'form of words repeated mechanically in such a manner' (for example a beggar's plea), hence 'jargon' (of beggars and other such groups).

Words that rhyme with cant

ant, Brabant, Brandt, brant, enceinte, extant, gallant, Kant, levant, pant, pointe, pointes, rant, scant

Definition of cant in:

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There are 2 main definitions of cant in English:

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cant2

Line breaks: cant
Pronunciation: /kant
 
/

verb

1Have or cause to have a slanting or oblique position; tilt: [with object]: he canted his head to look at the screen [no object]: mismatched slate roofs canted at all angles
More example sentences
  • She leaned against the bulkhead canting her head with a sigh.
  • This holster can also be canted from a vertical position to a grip-forward or muzzle-forward position.
  • Hand-made of fine leather and trimmed in exotic alligator, the holster can be positioned straight, or canted forward for even more versatility.
1.1 [no object] (Of a ship) swing round: the ship canted to starboard
More example sentences
  • The ship canted, slipping from its high and imperious plane as three missiles slammed into the armour, their icy casings erupting into a sundering coldfire ball that burned in the craters.
  • The ship canted and slipped to one side, tables and chairs going flying with an awful crash as the floor undulated like a sea and tried to become one with the wall.
  • Just then, the entire vessel canted to one side, as if thrown there by some unimaginable force.

noun

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1 [in singular] A slope or tilt: the outward cant of the curving walls
More example sentences
  • Then you can reconfigure the mag carrier to a straight vertical or drop-down pull and adjust the holster to a slight cant or straight draw angle for a day at the range or concealed carry.
  • The three components of alignment are horizontal, vertical and cant, regardless of the typical cross sections encountered.
  • In his view the problem was caused by the cant not being placed so as to abut the vertical inside wall of the parapet, thus allowing a space between the vertical surface of the cant and the vertical inside surface of the parapet.
Synonyms
2A wedge-shaped block of wood, especially one remaining after the better-quality pieces have been cut off: a squared-off cant remains, containing the knottiest wood
More example sentences
  • Yet, MB did not know even the basic dimensions of wood used in Japanese house construction and was opposed by the sogo shosha it had relied on to export its cants.
  • Because the Micromill SLP5000D is self-reliant it can be set up in remote locations including new burn areas to process small logs into cants and dimension lumber.

Origin

Middle English (denoting an edge or brink): from Middle Low German kant, kante, Middle Dutch cant 'point, side, edge', based on a Romance word related to medieval Latin cantus 'corner, side'.

Definition of cant in:

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