Definition of cantharus in English:



  • (in ancient Greece and Rome) a large, two-handled drinking cup.

    • ‘Romano-British floor mosaic, featuring an elaborate design of four octagons and canthari and dolphins.’
    • ‘In the eastern panel, superimposed vine scrolls generated from four canthari placed in the corners, rotate around the stone trap door of the hypogean tomb, as well as around the medallion set close to the west side of the panel.’
    • ‘The most ordinary, perhaps, is the cantharus, or two-handled cup, which was particularly sacred to Bacchus.’
    • ‘Next to these are highly stylised canthari with spiralled handles and with V-shaped patterns shaded red and white on their necks.’
    • ‘The inventory of the Bosut group settlements includes also cups with a handle higher than the rim, and canthari.’


Latin, from Greek kantharos.