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American Dictionary of the English Language

Webster's Dictionary 1828

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Cant


CANT, verb transitive

1. In popular usage, to turn about, or to turn over, by a sudden push or thrust; as, to cant over a pail or a cask.

2. To toss; as, to cant a ball.

3. To speak with a whining voice, or an affected singing tone.

[In this sense, it is usually intransitive.]

4. To sell by auction, or to bid a price at auction.

CANT, noun

1. A toss; a throw, thrust or push with a sudden jerk; as, to give a ball a cant [This is the literal sense.]

2. A whining, singing manner of speech; a quaint, affected mode of uttering words either in conversation or preaching.

3. The whining speech of beggars, as in asking alms and making complaints of their distresses.

4. The peculiar words and phrases of professional men; phrases often repeated, or not well authorized.

5. Any barbarous jargon in speech.

6. Whining pretension to goodness.

7. Outcry, at a public sale of goods; a call for bidders at an auction.

This use of the word is precisely equivalent to auction, auctio, a hawking, a crying out, or in the vulgar dialect, a singing out, but I believe not in use in the U. States.

CANT, noun A nich; a corner or retired place.

CANT-timbers, in a ship, are those which are situated at the two ends.