Definition of cantillate in English:


See synonyms for cantillate on

transitive verb

[with object] rare
  • Chant or intone (a passage of religious text)

    ‘he cantillated the verses of the ancient Avesta’
    • ‘Father Anshel was good at cantillating the Book of Esther but hopeless at making money.’
    • ‘Augusta Levine tutors each child in learning how to cantillate the Torah and Haftarah with special emphasis upon the child's own Torah portion.’
    • ‘They do at least agree that the tradition of cantillating the scriptures is a very old one, and was probably firmly established in tradition before the Massoretes began their work.’
    • ‘As Kahn observes, the saxophone itself does the chanting - articulating and cantillating the word patterns of Coltrane's poem of praise and thanksgiving to his Creator.’
    • ‘Because his family could not afford to pay for his education, he was sent to a religious school where he mastered the cantillating of the Koran.’
    repeat from memory, say aloud, read aloud, declaim, quote, speak, deliver, render



/ˈkantəlāt/ /ˈkæntəleɪt/


Mid 19th century from Latin cantillat- ‘hummed’, from the verb cantillare, from cantare (see chant).