Definition of canton in English:



  • 1A subdivision of a country established for political or administrative purposes:

    ‘he proposes dividing the country into ethnic cantons’
    • ‘One promising arrangement could be a confederation of independently governed areas or cantons, to be established in the territory between the Jordan and the Mediterranean.’
    • ‘Barak's proposal divided Palestine into four separate cantons surrounded by Israel: the Northern West Bank, the Central West Bank, the Southern West Bank and Gaza.’
    • ‘They will also elect three multi-ethnic state presidency members, a Serb Republic president and assemblies for 10 cantons in the Muslim-Croat federation.’
    • ‘Cantonal police units and a nominal confederate police, initially aided by an international contingent, should maintain public order and ensure peaceful relations between diverse cantons.’
    • ‘Israel has in effect divided the West Bank into two cantons, splitting up families and denying them access to secondary and tertiary medical care.’
    • ‘It is divided into two ethnic cantons, separated by the river Ibar.’
    • ‘3 The canton of Paraiso sits in the province of Cartago, but the Ministry of Agriculture distinguishes between various production regions in the country for the purpose of programming.’
    • ‘Confederate authorities should do nothing to ensure their Jewishness, since matters of worship and education will be exclusive privileges of the constituent cantons.’
    • ‘That left the Palestinians with only the cantons, hardly a viable state capable of offering the traumatized and destitute Palestinians any genuine sovereignty, economy, or hope for a better future.’
    • ‘Israel would retain control over links between the cantons, as well as the border with Jordan and would have overflying rights.’
    • ‘Alongside the BiH state elections, there were also elections to the parliaments at entity level and in the Croat-Muslim Federation's cantons.’
    • ‘Drawn up by another Liberal Democrat leader, Lord David Owen and US envoy Cyrus Vance, the plan envisaged Bosnia being divided up into 10 autonomous provinces or cantons largely along ethnic lines.’
    • ‘Gaza is also divided into three separate cantons.’
    • ‘His province was subdivided into districts and the latter into towns and cantons.’
    • ‘For now, political leaders say they'll settle for federations, like the provinces that make up Canada or the cantons in Switzerland, retaining much of their power within a federal system.’
    • ‘As for the Camp David offer, Palestinians argue that it would have left them with a series of non-contiguous cantons, not a real state.’
    • ‘These are divided up into small cantons, separated by armed checkpoints restricting virtually all movement.’
    • ‘The limitations of the hegemonic strategy employed by Stuttgart were revealed beginning in 1796 when several Black Forest cantons agitated for reform to the ducal political system.’
    • ‘The capital of the new canton, however, was located at its south-western corner, where the major Iron Age stronghold at Chichester was succeeded by the Roman town of Noviomagus.’
    • ‘Together, they in turn promoted an enhanced consciousness of belonging to an imagined community existing beyond the canton - to nationalism.’
    1. 1.1 A state of the Swiss Confederation.
      • ‘Residents of Switzerland are subject to personal income taxes levied by the central government and also by the 26 cantons and 2,900 municipalities.’
      • ‘The division between cantons held at 11-11 for two hours until Zurich, the largest canton, weighed in on the side of the UN supporters, assuring their victory.’
      • ‘At least three cantons - Bern, Geneva and Zurich - began changing the nationality designation of Taiwanese when issuing or renewing their residence permits about two months ago.’
      • ‘Japan would then join a small group of countries, mostly those bastions of democratic enlightenment such as Sweden, the Netherlands and some cantons of Switzerland, in granting the franchise to outsiders.’
      • ‘Many of the most popular card games in Switzerland, especially in the German speaking cantons, belong to the Jass group, and are played with characteristic Swiss cards, which have come to be known as Jass cards.’
      • ‘He wants Zurich to act as a model for other cantons after the justice ministry refused to tackle the subject until 2007.’
      • ‘In Switzerland, where Catholics and Protestants had long been at odds, most of the Swiss cantons introduced civil marriage.’
      • ‘Some cantons, such as those of eastern Switzerland and Geneva, Neuchâtel, and Valais, apply their own stricter limits, however, and national average yields are about the same as in France.’
      • ‘It emphasizes democracy, decentralization, and the sovereignty of individual cantons, which give much autonomy to individual communities.’
      • ‘In Switzerland, some cantons have introduced mandatory insurance for every homeowner, a move that helped spread the costs of coverage; they even engage in a system of reinsurance among the cantons.’
      • ‘Of the twenty-six cantons, twenty-two are officially monolingual.’
      • ‘These original communities were called cantons, and today Switzerland's twenty-six provinces are called by the same name.’
      • ‘On August 1, 1291, three Alpine cantons swore the oath of confederation, an act that later came to be regarded as the foundation of Switzerland.’
      • ‘With votes in from more than half the Swiss cantons by mid-afternoon, the proposal had been formally rejected though the majority was not yet known.’
      • ‘However, given the country's federal regime and the importance of its constituent parts, the cantons, in the Swiss's political as well as daily life, one must examine the linguistic distribution at this level also.’
      • ‘In Holland, France, the Scandinavian countries, and a handful of Swiss cantons, women did gain access to at least some fields of legal practice around the turn of the century.’
      • ‘In addition, the cantons and over 3,000 communes have preserved their autonomy and decide numerous issues by popular vote.’
      • ‘Geneva was not yet part of Switzerland and the city allied with the cantons of Bern and Fribourg against Savoy.’
      • ‘The Christian Democrats, a moderate party that is particularly strong in the Catholic cantons.’
      • ‘The mostly German-speaking cantons, or provinces, are divided nearly equally between the two religious affiliations.’
      province, federal state, region, territory, canton, department, county, area, district, sector, zone
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  • 2Heraldry
    A square charge smaller than a quarter and positioned in the upper (usually dexter) corner of a shield.

    • ‘All of them included a St George's cross, sometimes overall but mostly in the upper, inner quarter - the canton as it is known in heraldry.’
    • ‘The Australian flag of course features the British union flag in the canton, a flag which signifies, intrinsically, the union of the English, Irish and Scottish nations.’
    • ‘In both cases, cobalt blue was used to accent certain elements including the bells, the man's shoes, shirt, and hat, and the cantons of the flags.’
    district, constituency, division, quarter, zone, parish, community, department, canton
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Early 16th century: from Old French, literally corner, from Provençal, based on a Romance word related to medieval Latin cantus (see cant).

Definition of Canton in English:


proper noun