There are 2 definitions of cant in English:

cant1

Line breaks: cant
Pronunciation: /kant
 
/

noun

[mass noun]
  • 2Language specific to a particular group or profession and regarded with disparagement: thieves' cant
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    • 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
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    • 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
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    • 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).

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Word of the day mage
Pronunciation: meɪdʒ
noun
a magician or learned person

There are 2 definitions of cant in English:

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
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    • 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
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    • 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
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    • 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
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    • 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'.

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