Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. One of the principal divisions of a long poem.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. One of the chief divisions of a long poem; a book.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One of the chief divisions of a long poem; a book.
  • n. The highest vocal part; the air or melody in choral music; anciently the tenor, now the soprano.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A part or division of a poem of some length: as, the six cantos of “The Lady of the Lake.”
  • n. In music; the highest voice-part in concerted music; soprano.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a major division of a long poem
  • n. the highest part (usually the melody) in a piece of choral music

Etymologies

Italian, from Latin cantus, song; see canticle.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

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