Definition - A jargon used by cliques — such as criminal groups and gypsies — to prevent outsiders from understanding what they are saying.
Note: The equivalent French term is argot.

Etymology -
The word derives from the from Old North French canter, to sing or chant, which in turn derives from the Latin cantare, sing.

Oxford English Dictionary -
The term's first use in this sense is from 1706; however, the OED provides no example citation. Its first citation is from 1707:
"They talk'd to one another in Cant."
(J. Stevens tr. Quevedo's Com. Wks. (1709) 226 )

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