Cant, n. [Prob. from OF.
cant, F. chant, singing, in allusion to the singing
or whining tine of voice used by beggars, fr. L. cantus.
See Chant.] 1. An affected, singsong
mode of speaking.
2. The idioms and peculiarities of speech
in any sect, class, or occupation. Goldsmith.
The cant of any profession.
3. The use of religious phraseology
without understanding or sincerity; empty, solemn speech,
implying what is not felt; hypocrisy.
They shall hear no cant from me.
F. W. Robertson
4. Vulgar jargon; slang; the secret
language spoker by gipsies, thieves, tramps, or
Cant, v. i. 1.
To speak in a whining voice, or an affected, singsong
2. To make whining pretensions to
goodness; to talk with an affectation of religion, philanthropy,
etc.; to practice hypocrisy; as, a canting
The rankest rogue that ever canted.
Beau. & Fl.
3. To use pretentious language, barbarous
jargon, or technical terms; to talk with an affectation of
The doctor here,
When he discourseth of dissection,
Of vena cava and of vena porta,
The meseræum and the mesentericum,
What does he else but cant.
That uncouth affected garb of speech, or
canting language, if I may so call it.
Cant, v. t. [imp. & p.
p. Canted; p. pr. & vb. n.
Canting.] 1. To incline; to set at an
angle; to tilt over; to tip upon the edge; as, to cant a
cask; to cant a ship.
2. To give a sudden turn or new direction
to; as, to cant round a stick of timber; to cant a
3. To cut off an angle from, as from a
square piece of timber, or from the head of a bolt.
Cant (?), n. [OF., edge, angle,
prof. from L. canthus the iron ring round a carriage
wheel, a wheel, Gr. ? the corner of the eye, the felly of a
wheel; cf. W. cant the stake or tire of a wheel. Cf.
Canthus, Canton, Cantle.] 1.
A corner; angle; niche. [Obs.]
The first and principal person in the temple was
Irene, or Peace; she was placed aloft in a cant.
2. An outer or external angle.
3. An inclination from a horizontal or
vertical line; a slope or bevel; a titl.
4. A sudden thrust, push, kick, or other
impulse, producing a bias or change of direction; also, the bias
or turn so give; as, to give a ball a cant.
5. (Coopering) A segment forming a
side piece in the head of a cask. Knight.
6. (Mech.) A segment of he rim of
a wooden cogwheel. Knight.
7. (Naut.) A piece of wood laid
upon the deck of a vessel to support the bulkheads.
Cant frames, Cant timbers
(Naut.), timber at the two ends of a ship, rising
obliquely from the keel.
Cant, n. [Prob. from OF.
cant, equiv. to L. quantum; cf. F. encan,
fr. L. in quantum, i.e. "for how much?"] A call for
bidders at a public sale; an auction. "To sell their leases
by cant." Swift.
Cant, v. t. to sell by
auction, or bid a price at a sale by auction. [Archaic]
Cant (?), a. Of the nature of
cant; affected; vulgar.
To introduce and multiply cant words in the
most ruinous corruption in any language.