Dictionary: CAN'TO – CAP

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CAN'TO, n. [It. canto, a song; L. cantus. See Cant.]

A part or division of a poem, answering to what in prose is called a book. In Italian, canto is a song, and it signifies also the treble part, first treble, or highest vocal part, or the leading melody.

CAN'TON, n. [It. cantone, a corner-stone, and a canton; Sp. canton; Port. canto, a corner; Fr. canton, a corner, a part of a country, a district; Arm. canton; D. kant; G. kante; D. kandt; a corner, point, edge, border. The Welsh unites canton with cant, a hundred, L. centum, Sax. hund, for cantrev is a circuit or division of a country, from cant, a hundred.]

  1. A small portion of land, or division of territory; originally, a portion of territory on a border; also, the inhabitants of a canton.
  2. A small portion or district of territory, constituting a distinct state or government, as in Switzerland.
  3. In heraldry, a corner of the shield.
  4. A distinct part, or division; as, the cantons of a painting or other representation. – Burnet.

CAN'TON, v.t. [Sp. acantonar.]

  1. To divide into small parts or districts, as territory; to divide into distinct portions. – Locke. Addison.
  2. To allot separate quarters to each regiment of an army or body of troops. – Marshall. Encyc.


Pertaining to a canton; divided into cantons.


Divided into distinct parts, or quarters; lodged in distinct quarters, as troops.


Dividing into distinct districts; allotting separate quarters to each regiment.


To canton, or divide into small districts. – Davies.


A part or division of a town or village, assigned to a particular regiment of troops; separate quarters. – Marshall.

CAN'TRED, or CAN'TREF, n. [L. centum.]

A hundred villages, as in Wales. – Encyc.

CAN'VAS, n. [Fr. canevas, canvas, and chanvre, hemp; Arm. canavas; Sp. cañamazo; Port. canamo; It. canavaccio, canvas, and canapa, hemp; D. kanefas, canvas, and hennep, hemp; G. kanefass, canvas, and hanf, hemp; Dan. canefas; L. cannabis, hemp; Gr. κανναβις; Ir. canbhas, canaib, hemp; Russ. kanephas. It is from the root of canna, cane; perhaps a diminutive.]

  1. A coarse cloth made of hemp, or flax, used for tents, sails of ships, painting, and other purposes.
  2. A clear, unbleached cloth, wove regularly in little squares, used for working tapestry with the needle.
  3. Among the French, the rough draught or model on which an air or piece of music is composed, and given to a poet to finish. The canvas of a song contains certain notes of the composer, to show the poet the measure of the verses he is to make.
  4. Among seamen, cloth in sails, or sails in general; as, to spread as much canvas as the ship will bear.


A sailor that goes aloft to handle sails. – Shak.


  1. Examination; close inspection to know the state of; as, a canvass of votes.
  2. Discussion; debate.
  3. A seeking, solicitation, or efforts to obtain.

CAN'VASS, v.i.

To seek or go about to solicit votes or interest; to use efforts to obtain; to make interest in favor of; followed by for; as, to canvass for an office, or preferment; to canvass for a friend.

CAN'VASS, v.t. [Old Fr. cannabasser, to beat about or shake, to examine. Junius. Skinner.]

  1. To discuss; literally, to beat or shake out, to open by beating or shaking, like the L. discutio. This is the common use of the word; as, to canvass a subject, or the policy of a measure.
  2. To examine returns of votes; to search or scrutinize; as, to canvass the votes for senators.


Discussed; examined.


  1. One who solicits votes, or goes about to make interest. – Burke.
  2. One who examines the returns of votes for a public officer.


The act of discussing, examining, or making interest.


Discussing; examining; sifting; seeking.

CA'NY, a. [from cane.]

Consisting of cane, or abounding with canes. – Milton.

CAN'ZONE, n. [It. a song. See Cant.]

A song or air in two or three parts, with passages of fugue and imitation; or a poem to which music may be composed in the style of a cantata. When set to a piece of instrumental music, it signifies much the same as cantata; and when set to a sonata, it signifies allegro, or a brisk movement. – Bailey. Busby.

CAN'ZO-NET, n. [It. canzonetta.]

A little or short song, in one, two, or three parts. It sometimes consists of two strains, each of which is sung twice. Sometimes it is a species of jig. – Encyc. Busby.

CA-OUT-CHOUC, n. [coochooc.]

India-rubber, a substance produced from Siphonia elastica, and various other plants. It is impermeable to water.

CAP, n. [Sax. cæppe, a cap, and a cape, a cloke; D. kap; G. kappe and haube; Dan. kappe, a robe or coat; Sw. kappa, id.; It. cappa, a cap, a cloke; W. cap; Fr. chape, chapeau; Arm. chap or cap. The sense is probably that which is put on. Class Gb, No. 70; also 31, 36.]

  1. A part of dress made to cover the head.
  2. The ensign of a cardinalate. – Shak.
  3. The top, or the uppermost; the highest. Thou art the cap of fools. – Shak.
  4. A vessel in form of a cap. – Wilkins.
  5. An act of respect made by uncovering the head. – L'Estrange. Cap of cannon, a piece of lead laid over the vent to keep the priming dry; now called an apron. Cap of maintenance, an ornament of state, carried before the kings of England at the coronation. It is also carried before the mayors of some cities. In ship-building, a cap is a thick strong block of wood, used to confine two masts together, when one is erected at the head of another.

CAP, v.i.

To uncover the head in reverence or civility. [Not used.] – Shak. Lavoisier, Trans.

CAP, v.t.

  1. To cover the top, or end; to spread over; as, a bone is capped at the joint with a cartilaginous substance. The cloud-capped towers. – Shak.
  2. To deprive of the cap, or take off a cap. To cap verses, is to name alternately verses beginning with a particular letter; to name in opposition or emulation; to name alternately in contest. – Johnson.