Definition of cant noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//kænt//
; NAmE NAmE//kænt//
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[uncountable] statements, especially about moral or religious issues, that are not sincere and that you cannot trust synonym hypocrisy His speech was full of political, social and religious cant. Word Originnoun early 16th cent.: probably from Latin cantare ‘to sing’. The early meaning was ‘musical sound, singing’; in the mid 17th cent. this gave rise to the senses ‘whining manner of speaking’ and ‘form of words repeated mechanically in this manner’ (for example a beggar's plea), hence ‘jargon’ (of beggars and other such groups).
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: cant

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