What does canton mean?

Definitions for canton
ˈkæn tn, -tɒn, kænˈtɒncan·ton

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. Guangzhou, Kuangchou, Kwangchow, Cantonnoun

    a city on the Zhu Jiang delta in southern China; the capital of Guangdong province and a major deep-water port

  2. cantonverb

    a small administrative division of a country

  3. quarter, billet, cantonverb

    provide housing for (military personnel)

  4. cantonverb

    divide into cantons, of a country


  1. cantonnoun

    A division of a political unit

  2. cantonnoun

    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).

  3. cantonverb

    To delineate as a separate district.

  4. Cantonnoun

    An alternative (former) name for Guangzhou in China.

  5. Cantonnoun

    An alternative (former) name for Guangdong in China.

  6. Cantonnoun

    of French or Galician derivation.

  7. Etymology: From canton.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. CANTONnoun

    Only that little canton of land, called the English pale, containing four small shires, did maintain a bordering war with the Irish, and retain the form of English government. Davies.

    The same is the case of rovers by land; such, as yet, are some cantons in Arabia, and some petty kings of the mountains, adjacent to straits and ways. Francis Bacon, Holy War.

  2. To Cantonverb

    To divide into little parts.

    Etymology: from the noun.

    Families shall quit all subjection to him, and canton his empire into less governments for themselves. John Locke.

    It would certainly be for the good of mankind, to have all the mighty empires and monarchies of the world cantoned out into petty states and principalities. Joseph Addison, on Italy.

    The late king of Spain, reckoning it an indignity to have his territories cantoned out into parcels by other princes, during his own life, and without his consent, rather chose to bequeath the monarchy entire to a younger son of France. Jonathan Swift.

    They canton out to themselves a little province in the intellectual world, where they fancy the light shines, and all the rest is in darkness. Isaac Watts, Improvement of the Mind.


  1. canton

    A canton is a type of administrative division of a country. In general, cantons are relatively small in terms of area and population. The term is used in several countries, including Switzerland, where it refers to member states of the Swiss Confederation. It is also used in some regions in France, as well as in many other countries to describe similar administrative divisions. The term can also refer to a subdivision on a flag or heraldic shield. It may also mean a particular section or department of an organization like The Canton System in China which facilitated trade with the West. The context will determine the exact meaning.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Cantonnoun

    a song or canto

  2. Cantonnoun

    a small portion; a division; a compartment

  3. Cantonnoun

    a small community or clan

  4. Cantonnoun

    a small territorial district; esp. one of the twenty-two independent states which form the Swiss federal republic; in France, a subdivision of an arrondissement. See Arrondissement

  5. Cantonnoun

    a division of a shield occupying one third part of the chief, usually on the dexter side, formed by a perpendicular line from the top of the shield, meeting a horizontal line from the side

  6. Cantonverb

    to divide into small parts or districts; to mark off or separate, as a distinct portion or division

  7. Cantonverb

    to allot separate quarters to, as to different parts or divisions of an army or body of troops

  8. Etymology: [F. canton, augm. of OF. cant edge, corner. See 1st Cant.]


  1. Canton

    Canton is the county seat of Stark County in northeastern Ohio, approximately 24 miles south of Akron and 60 miles south of Cleveland. The City of Canton is the largest incorporated area in the Canton-Massillon Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the Canton-Massillon metropolitan area, which includes all of Stark and Carroll counties, had a population of 404,422. Founded in 1805 on the West and Middle Branches of the Nimishillen Creek, Canton became a manufacturing center because of its numerous railroad lines. After the decline of heavy manufacturing, the city's industry diversified into service economy, including retailing, education, finance, and healthcare. According to the 2010 census, Canton's population declined 9.7%, down to 73,007 residents. Despite this decline, the 2010 figure actually had moved Canton up from 9th to 8th place among Ohio cities, as nearby Youngstown in neighboring Mahoning County, once considerably more populous than Canton, had suffered a larger decline. Canton is home to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the McKinley National Memorial, the William McKinley Presidential Library and Museum, the First Ladies National Historic Site, and is the terminus of the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Canton

    kan′tun, n. a division of territory, constituting in Switzerland a separate government, in France a subdivision of an arrondissement: (her.) an ordinary of a shield, being a square occupying generally the dexter, sometimes the sinister, chief of the field.—v.t. to divide into cantons: to allot quarters to troops.—adjs. Can′tonal, pertaining to or divided into cantons; Can′toned (archit.), ornamented at the corners with projecting pilasters: (her.) placed in the midst of charges occupying the corners.—n. Can′tonment (also pronounced can-tōōn′ment), the temporary quarters of troops when taking part in manœuvres or active operations: in India, permanent military towns, distinct and at some little distance from the principal cities. [O. Fr. canton; It. cantone, corner, district—canto, a corner: cf. Cant (2).]

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Canton

    chief commercial city and port of Southern China; stands on a river almost on the seaboard, 90 m. NW. of Hong-Kong, and is a healthy town, but with a heavy rainfall; it is surrounded by walls, has narrow crooked streets, 125 temples, mostly Buddhist, and two pagodas, 10 and 13 centuries old respectively; great part of the population live in boats on the river; the fancy goods, silk, porcelain, ivory, and metal work are famous; its river communication with the interior has fostered an extensive commerce; exports, tea, silk, sugar, cassia, &c.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. canton

    The only city in China with which Europeans were allowed to trade till the treaty of August 29, 1842. In 1856 a serious misunderstanding arose between Great Britain and China, on account of the Chinese having boarded the “Arrow,” a small vessel, lying in the Canton River, with a British colonial register. The Canton forts were taken, and Canton was bombarded by Sir Michael Seymour in 1856, and in the following year the Chinese fleet was entirely destroyed. In 1858 Canton was taken, and the forts at the mouth of the Pei-ho River were taken by the allied French and English forces.

  2. canton

    One of the nine honorable ordinaries in heraldry. It occupies a corner of the shield either dexter or sinister, and is a third of the chief.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Canton is ranked #13049 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Canton surname appeared 2,353 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 1 would have the surname Canton.

    43.8% or 1,032 total occurrences were White.
    26.9% or 634 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    20.6% or 485 total occurrences were Black.
    5.1% or 120 total occurrences were Asian.
    3% or 72 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    0.4% or 10 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.

Matched Categories

Anagrams for canton »

  1. cannot

  2. noncat

  3. conant

  4. nonact

How to pronounce canton?

How to say canton in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of canton in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of canton in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Examples of canton in a Sentence

  1. Lou Saban:

    I think you’re probably right about that, i played at Kent State. I started my coaching career at Kent State. I always recruited Ohio, mostly northeast Ohio – Akron, Canton, Youngstown, Cleveland for years and years when I was at Michigan State.

  2. Joe Horrigan:

    It serves two purposes, weve had it displayed as a temporary exhibit for a couple of years, so it was the first thing visitors saw when they entered the Hall of Fame. Wed have a video story with it explaining why Canton is the site of the hall. CANCER SURVIVORS COLLECTION OF 250 CARS BEING SOLD ON CRAIGSLIST.

  3. Beat Villiger:

    For these people, it would be easy for them to simply pick up and settle in another canton without a German requirement.

  4. Police Chief Jack Angelo:

    The Canton Police Department was contacted yesterday by the school system to make a report for the alleged possible hazing incident, we are currently investigating and our results will be turned over to the Canton City Prosecutors Office for a determination on any charges.

  5. Mary J. Ruwart:

    [T]he Swiss people are the best practitioners of the ideals of non-aggression. The Swiss national government posts are parttime positions. Most decisions are made at the canton (state) level. Swiss per capita income is the highest in the world, showing that non-aggression pays. How did the Swiss come to adopt a relatively non-aggressive constitution in an aggressive world? In the mid-1800s, they imitated our constitution and stuck with it!

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Translations for canton

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"canton." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 17 May 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/canton>.

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