First Name
in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
in the U.S.
in 2010
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How to Pronounce Canter

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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Canter mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Canter

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Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
noun Can"ter
  1. A moderate and easy gallop adapted to pleasure riding.
  2. A rapid or easy passing over."A rapid canter in the Times over all the topics." [Sir J. Stephen.]

Note: ☞ The canter is a thoroughly artificial pace, at first extremely tiring to the horse, and generally only to be produced in him by the restraint of a powerful bit, which compels him to throw a great part of his weight on his haunches . . . There is so great a variety in the mode adopted by different horses for performing the canter, that no single description will suffice, nor indeed is it easy . . . to define any one of them.

Etymology: An abbreviation of Canterbury. See Canterbury gallop, under Canterbury

verb Can"ter
To move in a canter.
verb Can"ter
To cause, as a horse, to go at a canter; to ride (a horse) at a canter.
noun Cant"er
  1. One who cants or whines; a beggar.
  2. One who makes hypocritical pretensions to goodness; one who uses canting language."The day when he was a canter and a rebel." [Macaulay.]
Other Dictionary Sources
  1. A smooth three-beat gait; between a trot and a gallop
  2. Ride at a canter ("The men cantered away")
  3. Ride at a cantering pace ("He cantered the horse across the meadow")
  4. Go at a canter, of horses

Short for Canterbury pace, from the supposed easy pace of medieval pilgrims to Canterbury.

  1. A gait of a horse between a trot and a gallop, consisting of three beats and a "suspension" phase, where there are no feet on the ground. Also describing this gait on other four legged animals.
  2. A ride on a horse at such speed.

cant +‎ -er

  1. One who cants or whines; a beggar.
  2. One who makes hypocritical pretensions to goodness; one who uses canting language.

    canter was also found in the following language(s): Latin, Norman, Old French, and Picard

    Notable Persons With the Last Name Canter

    Larry Canter is a lawyer, internet businessman, and lawyer (disbarred in 1997). Larry was given the name Laurence A. Canter on June 24th, 1953.



    David Evyn Canter is a sports agent. David was born on January 4th, 1973.


    Jean-Christophe was born in 1960.


    Dan Canter is a soccer player for the Penn State Nittany Lions, Fort Lauderdale Strikers (1977–83), Team America (NASL), New York Cosmos (1970–85), Chicago Sting, Minnesota Strikers, and United States men's national soccer team. Dan was born on November 16th, 1961 in North Plainfield, New Jersey, United States.


    Jonathan was born on June 4th, 1965 in United States.


    Where is the name Canter popular?

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    Popularity of Canter as a last name

    The map shows the absolute popularity of the name Canter as a last name in each of the states. See other popular names in Ohio, New York, or Kentucky.

    Ethnicity Distribution

    Ethnicity Canter U.S.
      White 90.12% 64.26%
      African American 5.00% 11.96%
      Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 0.68% 4.85%
      American Indian and Alaska Native 0.36% 0.69%
      Two or More Ethnicities 1.39% 1.76%
      Hispanic or Latino 2.45% 16.26%

    Of Last Name Canter

    People with the last name Canter are most frequently White

    Entire United States

    Fun Facts about the name Canter

    • How Popular is the name Canter? As a last name Canter was the 5,374th most popular name in 2010.
    • When was the first name Canter first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the name Canter is Tuesday, December 11th, 1888.
    • How unique is the name Canter? From 1880 to 2017 less than 5 people per year have been born with the first name Canter. Hoorah! You are a unique individual.
    • Weird things about the name Canter: Your name in reverse order is Retnac. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Teancr. How do you pronounce that?
    • How many people have the last name Canter? In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 6,477 people with the last name Canter.
    • How likely are you to meet someone with the last name of Canter? If you manage to meet 100,000 people in your life, chances are that 2 of them will have Canter as their last name.

    What Canters Have Visited This Page?

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    • Sources:
    • U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain).
    • 1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary via the Collaborative International Dictionary of English (License)
    • Other Dictionary Sources: WordNet 3.1 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University (License).
    • Wiktionary: Titles and License.
    • Notable persons via Wikipedia: Titles and License. Click each image for the attribution information.