Definition of cantillate in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈkantɪleɪt/


[with object] rare
Chant or intone (a passage of religious text): he cantillated the verses of the ancient Avesta
More example sentences
  • Father Anshel was good at cantillating the Book of Esther but hopeless at making money.
  • Augusta Levine tutors each child in learning how to cantillate the Torah and Haftarah with special emphasis upon the child's own Torah portion.
  • They do at least agree that the tradition of cantillating the scriptures is a very old one, and was probably firmly established in tradition before the Massoretes began their work.



Pronunciation: /kantɪˈleɪʃ(ə)n/
Example sentences
  • But it also recalls Ashkenazic Torah cantillation.
  • Little is known of the music of ancient times, though some elements are preserved in the traditional cantillation of the Torah and the older nusach, or forms of reading, for some of the prayers.
  • The religious Fourth Symphony synchretizes Gregorian and Orthodox chants, Lutheran chorales, and Jewish cantillation.


Mid 19th century: from Latin cantillat- 'hummed', from the verb cantillare, from cantare (see chant).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: can¦til|late

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.