- any of the political divisions of certain countries or territories; specif.,
- any of the main divisions of Switzerland
- a division of an arrondissement in France
- Heraldry a small, square section of a shield, usually in the upper dexter corner
- a rectangular section in a flag, in the upper corner nearest the staff
Origin of cantonFrench ; from Italian cantone ; from Late Latin cantus: see cant
- to divide into cantons
- to assign quarters to (troops, etc.); quarter
- a. A small territorial division of a country, especially one of the states of Switzerland.b. A subdivision of an arrondissement in France.
- Heraldry A small, square division of a shield, usually in the upper right corner.
- A usually rectangular division of a flag, occupying the upper corner next to the staff.
Origin of cantonFrench, from Old French, from Old Italian cantone, augmentative of canto, corner, from Vulgar Latin *cantus; see cant1.
- A city of northeast Ohio south-southeast of Akron. It was the home of President William McKinley.
- See Guangzhou.
- A division of a political unit.
- A small community or clan.
- A subdivision of a flag, the rectangular inset on the upper hoist (i.e., flagpole) side (e.g., the stars of the US national flag are in a canton).
- (heraldry) A division of a shield occupying one third of the chief, usually on the dexter side, formed by a perpendicular line from the top meeting a horizontal line from the side.
(third-person singular simple present cantons, present participle cantoning, simple past and past participle cantoned)
- To delineate as a separate district.
From Old French canton (“corner”).