Canon definition

kănən
Frequency:
A secular law, rule, or code of law.
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An ecclesiastical law or code of laws established by a church council.
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The books of the Bible officially accepted as Holy Scripture.
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A basis for judgment; a standard or criterion.
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The part of the Mass beginning after the Preface and Sanctus and ending just before the Lord's Prayer.
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The definition of a canon is a principle, law or standard by which people are judged or a member of the clergy living according to these principles or laws.

An example of a canon is a moral principle that a group believes is correct or proper.

An example of a canon is a member of the Roman Catholic clergy.

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(music) A composition or passage in which a melody is imitated by one or more voices at fixed intervals of pitch and time.
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An established principle.

The canons of polite society.

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A group of literary works that are generally accepted as representing a field.
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The works of a writer that have been accepted as authentic.

The entire Shakespeare canon.

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A member of a chapter of priests serving in a cathedral or collegiate church.
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A law or body of laws of a church.
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Those works, authors, etc. accepted as major or essential.

The Victorian canon.

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(eccles.) The fundamental and essentially unvarying part of the Mass, between the Preface and Communion, that centers on consecration of the bread and wine.
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The calendar of saints accepted by the Roman Catholic Church.
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(rare) Any law or decree.
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A member of certain religious communities living under a common rule and bound by vows.
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A standard to judge by; criterion.
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A body of rules, principles, criteria, etc.
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The books of the Bible officially accepted by a church or religious body as divinely inspired.
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The works ascribed to an author that are accepted as genuine.
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The complete works, as of an author.
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A list of recognized saints as in the Roman Catholic Church.
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A contrapuntal device in which a melody introduced in one voice is restated in one or more other voices that overlap the first and successive voices in continuous and strict imitation.
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A composition so constructed.
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A member of a clerical group living according to a canon, or rule.
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A clergyman serving in a cathedral or collegiate church.
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A rule or principle, especially one that is fundamental.
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A rule or standard of conduct, in the form of a general maxim, adopted by a professional organization to guide the conduct of its members. See also Model Rules of Professional Conduct.
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A generally accepted principle; a rule.

The trial must proceed according to the canons of law.

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A group of literary works that are generally accepted as representing a field.

"the durable canon of American short fiction" — William Styron.

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The works of a writer that have been accepted as authentic.

The entire Shakespeare canon.

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A eucharistic prayer, particularly the Roman Canon.
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A religious law or body of law decreed by the church.

We must proceed according to canon law.

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A catalogue of saints acknowledged and canonized in the Roman Catholic Church.
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In monasteries, a book containing the rules of a religious order.
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A member of a cathedral chapter; one who possesses a prebend in a cathedral or collegiate church.
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A piece of music in which the same melody is played by different voices, but beginning at different times.

Pachelbel’s Canon has become very popular.

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(fandom) Those sources, especially including literary works, which are generally considered authoritative regarding a given fictional universe.

A spin-off book series revealed the aliens to be originally from Earth, but it's not canon.

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(cooking) A rolled and filleted loin of meat.

A canon of beef or lamb.

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(printing) The largest size of type with a specific name, formerly used for printing the canons of the church.
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The part of a bell by which it is suspended; the ear or shank of a bell.

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(billiards) A carom.
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An established or basic rule or principle.

The canons of good taste.

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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
canon
Plural:
canons, caones, caons

Origin of canon

  • Middle English canoun from Old English canon and from Old French both from Latin canōn rule from Greek kanōn measuring rod, rule of Semitic origin qnw in Semitic roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • Middle English canoun from Norman French canun from Late Latin canōnicus one living under a rule from Latin canōn rule canon1

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Old French canon, from Latin canōn, from Ancient Greek κανών (kanón, “measuring rod, standard”), akin to κάννα (kanna, “reed”), perhaps from Semitic (compare Hebrew קָנֶה (qane, “reed”)). See also cane.

    From Wiktionary