Definition of decani in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /dɪˈkeɪnʌɪ/


The section of a church or cathedral choir conventionally placed on the south side and taking the first or higher part in antiphonal singing. The opposite of cantoris.
Example sentences
  • The cathedral precentor sits opposite the dean - whence the name for the two sides of the choir: decani and cantoris (‘of the singer’, i.e. the precentor).
  • The post-Reformation choir was usually split into two antiphonal groups: cantoris on the precentor's side and decani opposite on the dean's side.


Mid 18th century: from Latin, literally 'of the dean' (see dean1).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: de¦cani

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.