1 The name given to those timbers in a ship towards the bow and the stern which are angled (or canted) from the athwartships direction.
2 When used as a verb it is the operation of turning a ship's head one way or the other, according to the requirement at the time, when weighing anchor or slipping from a mooring. It may, for example, be necessary to cant the ship's head to port, or starboard, in order to avoid shipping or other hazards in the immediate vicinity. See also cast, to.
3 in whaling, a cut made in a whale between the neck and the fins to which the purchase, known as a cant purchase, was secured in order to turn the animal round during the operation of flensing.