of horses, "move with a moderate or easy gallop," 1706, from a contraction of canterbury (v.), 1670s, from Canterbury pace (1630s), "easy pace at which pilgrims ride to Canterbury" (q.v.). Related: Cantered; cantering.
c. 1600, "professional beggar," agent noun from cant (v.1). From 1650s as "one who talks religious cant."
updated on October 09, 2017