Definitions

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

  • n. A small territorial division of a country, especially one of the states of Switzerland.
  • n. A subdivision of an arrondissement in France.
  • n. Heraldry A small, square division of a shield, usually in the upper right corner.
  • n. A usually rectangular division of a flag, occupying the upper corner next to the staff.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A division of a political unit
  • n. 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).
  • v. To delineate as a separate district.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A song or canto.
  • n. A small portion; a division; a compartment.
  • n. A small community or clan.
  • n. 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.
  • n. 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.
  • intransitive v. To divide into small parts or districts; to mark off or separate, as a distinct portion or division.
  • intransitive v. To allot separate quarters to, as to different parts or divisions of an army or body of troops.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An angle or corner; also, an angular space or nook.
  • n. A portion of space; a parcel of ground.
  • n. A small district; a subdivision of a country.
  • n. In France, the territorial division below an arrondissement and above a commune. See arrondissement.
  • n. In heraldry, a part of the chief, cut off on either the left- or the right-hand upper corner.
  • n. A distinct part or division: as, the cantons of a painting or other representation, or of a flag.
  • To divide into cantons or districts, as territory; divide into distinct portions; with out, to cut out and separate.
  • To allot separate quarters to the different divisions or parts (usually regiments) of: as, to canton an army or a detachment.
  • n. A variant of canto.
  • n. In architecture, a thickened or emphasized corner of a building, as where two pilasters are set one on each side of the extreme angle. See cantoned (with cut).
  • In heraldry, to furnish with a canton, or furnish a canton with: as, a cross argent cantoned with four scallop-shells.
  • To quarter one's self in a temporary hut or cantonment.

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

  • v. divide into cantons, of a country
  • v. provide housing for (military personnel)
  • n. a small administrative division of a country
  • n. a city on the Zhu Jiang delta in southern China; the capital of Guangdong province and a major deep-water port

Etymologies

French, from Old French, from Old Italian cantone, augmentative of canto, corner, from Vulgar Latin *cantus; see cant1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French canton ("corner"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Hospitals in canton Valais have also adopted measures to protect themselves against visitors from the United States, Canada and Britain.

    Coyote Blog » 2009 » September

  • The Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland upheld a fine equal to about $100 against a man who was doing just that in what is known as the canton, or state of Appenzell Ausserhoden

    The Globe and Mail - Home RSS feed

  • Two miles farther is the Ponte Alto, 2740 ft.; where the road crosses the Golo and enters the pastoral country of the Niolo; now called the canton of Calacuccia, comprehending the villages of

    Itinerary through Corsica by its Rail, Carriage & Forest Roads

  • _Volost_; that is, a canton or parish, which was governed by a council composed of the elders of the communes, one of whom was recognized as the chief.

    A Short History of Russia

  • And in another canton was the following similar legend: ---

    The Antiquary

  • And in another canton was the following similar legend: --

    The Antiquary — Complete

  • The Northern Territory flag ushered in the flag design type of "Australia Pale" where the dominant image on the canton is the Southern Cross.

    Cam Riley

  • She lives in the La Poza canton, which is located in the Usulután department.

    Kiva Loans

  • And in another canton was the following similar legend: —

    The Antiquary

  • "Mapping the canton was a challenging project as the aerial images analyzed were collected in August, leading to dark shadows in the urban areas which are difficult to handle," said Stéphane Couderq, Director of GeoDataNetwork.

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