from The Century Dictionary.

  • Lively; sprightly; cheerful: applied to persons and things.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Cheerful; sprightly; lively; merry.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective lively; cheerful; merry; brisk

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

  • adjective lively and brisk


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • He was declared to be the same "canty" fellow as ever, and, though he had risen greatly in the world, he was "not a bit set up."

    The Life of Thomas Telford Smiles, Samuel, 1812-1904 1867

  • He was enjoying his sartorial liaison with the spirited young woman—the cheek of that canty “I should like to thank the rescuer” still glowed in his head—and he wanted nothing to disturb it.

    Aching for Always Gwyn Cready 2010

  • They took after us, of course, and we led them a canty chase uphill and through burns and over rocks and such; and all the while the rest of Dougal's men were making off over the border wi 'the kine.

    Sick Cycle Carousel 2010

  • “Did I know Kate Happer?” replied the widow; “as well as the beggar knows his dish — a canty quean was Kate, and a special cummer of my ain maybe twenty years syne.”

    The Monastery 2008

  • My mother lived till eighty, a canty dame to the last.

    Wuthering Heights 2002

  • Take my word for it, the canty quiet lilt in the evening, and the lights low, and calm and honest thoughts with us, is better than all the rant and chorus, and I've tried them both.

    Doom Castle Neil Munro

  • A house that is canty, with wealth in 't, my laddie?

    The Modern Scottish Minstrel , Volume I. The Songs of Scotland of the past half century Various

  • "Oh, Richard!" exclaimed she, on one occasion, "if you would but dismiss such gloomy thoughts from your mind, you would live as long as any of us – at least you would live to see the girls married, and yourself a happy grandfather with a canty old dame for your companion."

    Agnes Grey 1931

  • SND (s.v.) gives variants: Argyll 1936: "Cock-a-bendie and his wife,/O, but they were canty"; Edinb.

    Cockie Bendie 1932

  • ‘Hout, na, ye needna be blate about that: their house is muckle eneugh, and clecking3time’s aye canty time.

    Chapter I 1917


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  • Scots - cheerful, pleasant.

    August 2, 2008

  • He bristles and fights, so he's banty;

    Delighted with life - call him canty.

    An irascible sort

    Or thorough good sport?

    Depends if he's pro- or he's anti-.

    June 11, 2015