1. A smooth three-beat gait of a horse that is slower than a gallop but faster than a trot, in which the feet touch the ground in the three-beat sequence of near hind foot, off hind foot and near front foot, off front foot.
2. A ride on a horse moving with this gait.
v. can·tered, can·ter·ing, can·ters
To go or move at a canter.
To cause (a horse) to go at a canter.
[Ultimately from phrases such as Canterbury gallop, after Canterbury, England, toward which pilgrims rode at an easy pace.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 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:
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.