What does Canterbury mean?

Definitions for Canterbury
ˈkæn tərˌbɛr i, -bə ri; esp. Brit. -brican·ter·bu·ry

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word Canterbury.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. Canterburynoun

    a town in Kent in southeastern England; site of the cathedral where Thomas a Becket was martyred in 1170; seat of the archbishop and primate of the Anglican Church


  1. Canterburynoun

    An ancient city in Kent, England

  2. Canterburynoun

    A province of New Zealand

  3. Canterburynoun

    A region of New Zealand

  4. canterburynoun

    A rack for magazines or other papers, usually wooden, often done as a decorative piece.

  5. Etymology: From Canterbury.


  1. Canterbury

    Canterbury ( (listen), ) is a cathedral city and UNESCO World Heritage Site, situated in the heart of the City of Canterbury local government district of Kent, England. It lies on the River Stour. The Archbishop of Canterbury is the primate of the Church of England and the worldwide Anglican Communion owing to the importance of St Augustine, who served as the apostle to the pagan Kingdom of Kent around the turn of the 7th century. The city's cathedral became a major focus of pilgrimage following the 1170 martyrdom of Thomas Becket, although it had already been a well-trodden pilgrim destination since the murder of St Alphege by the men of King Canute in 1012. A journey of pilgrims to Becket's shrine served as the frame for Geoffrey Chaucer's 14th-century classic The Canterbury Tales. Canterbury is a popular tourist destination: consistently one of the most-visited cities in the United Kingdom, the city's economy is heavily reliant upon tourism. The city has been occupied since Paleolithic times and served as the capital of the Celtic Cantiaci and Jute Kingdom of Kent. Many historical structures fill the area, including a city wall founded in Roman times and rebuilt in the 14th century, the ruins of St Augustine's Abbey, the Norman Canterbury Castle, and the oldest extant school in the world, the King's School. Modern additions include the Marlowe Theatre and Kent County Cricket Club's St Lawrence Ground. Canterbury has a substantial student population and one of the highest proportions of students to permanent residents in the country. Nevertheless, it remains relatively small when compared with other British cities.


  1. canterbury

    Canterbury is a historic city located in the southeastern region of England, known as the county of Kent. It's significant for its stunning cathedral, which is a major focus of Christian pilgrimage, and for being the setting of Geoffrey Chaucer's 14th-century tales. Canterbury is also recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It may also refer to the Archbishop of Canterbury, the senior bishop and principal leader of the Church of England.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Canterburynoun

    a city in England, giving its name various articles. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury (primate of all England), and contains the shrine of Thomas a Becket, to which pilgrimages were formerly made

  2. Canterburynoun

    a stand with divisions in it for holding music, loose papers, etc


  1. Canterbury

    Canterbury is an historic English cathedral city, which lies at the heart of the City of Canterbury, a district of Kent in South East England. It lies on the River Stour. Originally a Brythonic settlement called *Durou̯ernon, it was renamed Durovernum Cantiacorum by the Roman conquerors in the 1st century AD. After it became the chief Jutish settlement, it gained its English name Canterbury, itself derived from the Old English Cantwareburh. After the Kingdom of Kent's conversion to Christianity in 597, St Augustine founded an episcopal see in the city and became the first Archbishop of Canterbury, a position that now heads the Church of England and the worldwide Anglican Communion. Thomas Becket's murder at Canterbury Cathedral in 1170 led to the cathedral becoming a place of pilgrimage for Christians worldwide. This pilgrimage provided the theme for Geoffrey Chaucer's 14th-century literary classic The Canterbury Tales. The literary heritage continued with the birth of the playwright Christopher Marlowe in the city in the 16th century.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Canterbury

    kan′tėr-ber-ri, n. a stand with divisions in it for holding books, music, &c.—Canterbury Bells (see Campanula).

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Canterbury

    in E. Kent, on the Stour, by rail 62 m. SE. of London; is the ecclesiastical capital of England; the cathedral was founded A.D. 597 by St. Augustin; the present building belongs to various epochs, dating as far back as the 11th century; it contains many interesting monuments, statues, and tombs, among the latter that of Thomas à Becket, murdered in the north transept, 1170; the cloisters, chapter-house, and other buildings occupy the site of the old monastic houses; the city is rich in old churches and ecclesiastical monuments; there is an art gallery; trade is chiefly in hops and grain. Kit Marlowe was a native.

  2. Canterbury

    a district in New Zealand, in the centre of the South Island, on the east side of which are the Canterbury Plains or Downs, a great pasture-land for sheep of over three million acres.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. canterbury

    (the Durovernum of the Romans). A town in Kent, England. Its cathedral was sacked by the Danes, 1011, and burnt down, 1067; rebuilt, 1130; again burnt down, 1174, and again rebuilt. During the civil war in England, Cromwell’s dragoons used Canterbury Cathedral as a stable.

Suggested Resources

  1. canterbury

    Song lyrics by canterbury -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by canterbury on the Lyrics.com website.

Etymology and Origins

  1. Canterbury

    The fortified place or chief town of “Kent.”

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Canterbury is ranked #7488 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Canterbury surname appeared 4,449 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 2 would have the surname Canterbury.

    94.2% or 4,192 total occurrences were White.
    2.3% or 106 total occurrences were Black.
    1.3% or 61 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    1.1% or 53 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    0.4% or 20 total occurrences were Asian.
    0.3% or 17 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.

Matched Categories

How to pronounce Canterbury?

How to say Canterbury in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of Canterbury in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of Canterbury in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of Canterbury in a Sentence

  1. Matthew Rushton:

    The Archbishop of Canterbury said to us that if you dont know how to have fun in cathedrals then youre not doing your job properly.

  2. Sydney Smith:

    I have, alas, only one illusion left, and that is the Archbishop of Canterbury.

  3. Michael Wadleigh:

    We talked ahead of time about' The Canterbury Tales.' We tried to get profiles of people - the nude bathing, the couple on the road, the guy who was cleaning the toilets. He had such pride in what he was doing.

  4. Dr Jones:

    The Canterbury Roll is the most significant and substantial medieval artefact in New Zealand. For 100 years, UC has been the guardian of this unique 600-year-old treasure, which tells the history of England from its mythical origins to the late Middle Ages, no-one has anything like this in New Zealand or Australia. And it’s utterly bonkers that no-one really knows we have it, because it’s magnificent!

  5. The Duchess of Sussex:

    Piers Morgan called the archbishop and Piers Morgan just said, look, this thing, this spectacle is for the world, but Piers Morgan want Piers Morgan union between Piers Morgan, so the vows that Piers Morgan have framed in Piers Morgan room are just the two of us in Piers Morgan backyard with the archbishop of Canterbury.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for Canterbury

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"Canterbury." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 1 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/Canterbury>.

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    lack of respect accompanied by a feeling of intense dislike
    • A. peccadillo
    • B. hodgepodge
    • C. dint
    • D. contempt

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