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cant 1 (kănt)
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n.
1. Angular deviation from a vertical or horizontal plane or surface; an inclination or slope.
2. A slanted or oblique surface.
3.
a. A thrust or motion that tilts something.
b. The tilt caused by such a thrust or motion.
4. An outer corner, as of a building.
v. cant·ed, cant·ing, cants
v.tr.
1. To set at an oblique angle; tilt.
2. To give a slanting edge to; bevel.
3. To change the direction of suddenly.
v.intr.
1. To lean to one side; slant.
2. To take an oblique direction or course; swing around, as a ship.

[Middle English, side, from Old North French, from Vulgar Latin *cantus, corner, from Latin canthus, rim of wheel, tire, of Celtic origin.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
cant 2 (kănt)
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n.
1. Tedious or hackneyed language, especially when used sanctimoniously: "a merciless onslaught upon the cant of the age, the cant about progress, equality, [and] universal education" (C. Vann Woodward).
2.
a. The special vocabulary peculiar to the members of an underworld group; argot.
b. The special vocabulary of a profession, discipline, or social group; jargon.
3. Cant See Shelta.
4. Whining or singsong speech, such as that used by beggars.
intr.v. cant·ed, cant·ing, cants
1. To speak tediously or sanctimoniously.
2. To speak in argot or jargon.
3. To speak in a whining or singsong voice.

[Anglo-Norman cant, song, singing, from canter, to sing, from Latin cantāre; see kan- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

canting·ly adv.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
Cant.
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abbr.
Bible
Canticle of Canticles

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

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