a. A series of syllables or words that are sung on or intoned to the same note or a limited range of notes.
b. A canticle or prayer sung or intoned in this manner.
2. A monotonous rhythmic call or shout, as of a slogan: the chant of the crowd at the rally.
v. chant·ed, chant·ing, chants
1. To sing or intone to a chant: chant a prayer.
2. To celebrate in song: chanting a hero's deeds.
3. To say in the manner of a chant: chanted defiant slogans.
1. To sing, especially in the manner of a chant: chanted while a friend jumped rope.
2. To speak monotonously.
[Probably from French, song, from Old French, from Latin cantus, from past participle of canere, to sing. V., from Middle English chaunten, to sing, from Old French chanter, from Latin cantāre, frequentative of canere; see kan- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.