Definitions

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

  • n. The Jewish religious official who leads the musical part of a service.
  • n. The person who leads a church choir or congregation in singing; a precentor.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. singer, especially someone who takes a special role of singing or song leading at a ceremony

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A singer; esp. the leader of a church choir; a precentor.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Eccles., an officer whose duty is to lead the singing in a cathedral or in a collegiate or parish church; a precentor.
  • n. Specifically, in Germany, the music-master in a choir-school or similar institution, or the kapellmeister of a church. See kapellmeister.

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

  • n. the official of a synagogue who conducts the liturgical part of the service and sings or chants the prayers intended to be performed as solos
  • n. the musical director of a choir

Etymologies

Latin, singer, from canere, to sing; see kan- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin cantor, agent noun from perfect passive participle cantus, from verb canere ("to sing"), + agent suffix -or. (Wiktionary)

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