- The definition of a canter is the pace of a horse that is moving at a speed between a trot and a gallop.
When a horse is moving along a meadow, going a little bit faster than trotting but not quite running, the pace at which the horse is moving is an example of a canter.
- To canter is to ride a horse that is moving at a pace in between a trot and a gallop.
When you move along riding on a horse going at mid-speed, a bit faster than trotting, this is an example of a time when you canter the horse.
A cantering horse.
canter definition by Webster's New World
- a smooth, easy pace like a moderate gallop
- the rumbling sound of a cantering horse
Origin: contr. ; from Canterbury gallop: from pace at which the pilgrims rode to Canterbury
canter definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- To ride a horse at a canter.
- To go or move at a canter.
Origin: Ultimately from phrases such as Canterbury gallop, after Canterbury, England, toward which pilgrims rode at an easy pace.Word History: Most of those who have majored in English literature, and many more besides, know that Chaucer's Canterbury Tales were told by a group of pilgrims on their way to Canterbury to visit the shrine of England's famous martyr Thomas à Becket. Many pilgrims other than Chaucer's visited Canterbury on horse, and phrases such as Canterbury gallop, Canterbury pace, and Canterbury trot described the easy gait at which they rode to their destination. The first recorded instance of one of these phrases, Canterbury pace, is found in a work published before 1636. However, in a work written in 1631 we find a shortened form, the noun Canterbury, meaning “a canter,” and later, in 1673, the verb Canterbury, meaning “to canter.” This verb, or perhaps the noun, was further shortened, giving us the verb canter, first recorded in 1706, and the noun canter, first recorded in 1755.
Variant of cant
- whining, singsong speech, esp. as used by beggars
- the secret slang of beggars, thieves, etc.; argot
- the special words and phrases used by those in a certain sect, occupation, etc.; jargon
- insincere or almost meaningless talk used merely from convention or habit
- religious phraseology used hypocritically; insincere, pious talk
Origin: ; from Classical Latin cantus: see chant
Origin: < cantthe
- canter noun