cant

Cant is language repeated so often and so mechanically that it's essentially empty of meaning. Cant can also mean the specialized jargon of a particular group — like the "cant of piracy" (e.g., Ahoy! Lubber! Arrr!).

Possible sources for cant exist in both Irish Gaelic and Latin, and the meanings of both are similar: caint is "speech," while cantare is "to sing." In broader English, the word was first used to mock the singing of monks (who makes fun of monks?). As it evolved, cant became the whining of beggars and then the secret language of thieves, and the negative connotations persist in modern usage. Just think of the clichés and catchphrases parroted by politicians during election season!

PRIMARY MEANINGS OF: cant

1
n
a slope in the turn of a road or track; the outside is higher than the inside in order to reduce the effects of centrifugal force
2
nv
two surfaces meeting at an angle different from 90 degrees
heel over
3
n
a characteristic language of a particular group (as among thieves)
4
n
insincere talk about religion or morals
FULL DEFINITIONS OF: cant
1

n a slope in the turn of a road or track; the outside is higher than the inside in order to reduce the effects of centrifugal force

Synonyms:
bank, camber
Type of:
incline, side, slope
an elevated geological formation
2

n two surfaces meeting at an angle different from 90 degrees

Synonyms:
bevel, chamfer
Types:
splay
an outward bevel around a door or window that makes it seem larger
Type of:
edge
a sharp side formed by the intersection of two surfaces of an object

v heel over

Synonyms:
cant over, pitch, slant, tilt
Types:
cock
tilt or slant to one side
Type of:
move
move so as to change position, perform a nontranslational motion
3

n a characteristic language of a particular group (as among thieves)

Synonyms:
argot, jargon, lingo, patois, slang, vernacular
Types:
street name
slang for something (especially for an illegal drug)
rhyming slang
slang that replaces words with rhyming words or expressions and then typically omits the rhyming component
Type of:
non-standard speech
speech that differs from the usual accepted, easily recognizable speech of native adult members of a speech community
4

n insincere talk about religion or morals

Synonyms:
pious platitude
Type of:
talk, talking
an exchange of ideas via conversation

n stock phrases that have become nonsense through endless repetition

Synonyms:
buzzword
Type of:
bunk, hokum, meaninglessness, nonsense, nonsensicality
a message that seems to convey no meaning
WORD FAMILY
USAGE EXAMPLES