What does cannon mean?

Definitions for cannon
ˈkæn əncan·non

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word cannon.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. cannonnoun

    a large artillery gun that is usually on wheels

  2. cannonnoun

    heavy gun fired from a tank

  3. cannonnoun

    (Middle Ages) a cylindrical piece of armor plate to protect the arm

  4. cannonnoun

    heavy automatic gun fired from an airplane

  5. cannon, shanknoun

    lower part of the leg extending from the hock to the fetlock in hoofed mammals

  6. carom, cannonverb

    a shot in billiards in which the cue ball contacts one object ball and then the other

  7. cannonverb

    make a cannon

  8. cannonverb

    fire a cannon


  1. cannonnoun

    A complete assembly, consisting of an artillery tube and a breech mechanism, firing mechanism or base cap, which is a component of a gun, howitzer or mortar. It may include muzzle appendages.

  2. cannonnoun

    A large-bore machine gun.

  3. cannonnoun

    A bone of a horse's leg, between the fetlock joint and the knee or hock.

  4. cannonnoun

    A large muzzle-loading artillery piece.

  5. cannonnoun

    A carom.

  6. cannonnoun

    The arm of a player that can throw well.

    He's got a cannon out in right.

  7. cannonverb

    To bombard with cannons

  8. cannonverb

    To play the carom billiard shot. To strike two balls with the cue ball

    The white cannoned off the red onto the pink.

  9. cannonverb

    To fire something, especially spherical, rapidly.

  10. Etymology: Origin circa 1400 A.D. from canon, from cannone, from canna.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. CANNONnoun

    Etymology: cannon, Fr. from canna, Lat. a pipe, meaning a large tube.

    As cannons overcharg’d with double cracks,
    So they redoubled strokes upon the foe. William Shakespeare, Macbeth.

    He had left all the cannon he had taken; and now he sent all his great cannon to a garrison. Edward Hyde.

    The making, or price, of these gunpowder instruments, is extremely expensive, as may be easily judged by the weight of their materials; a whole cannon weighing commonly eight thousand pounds; a half cannon, five thousand; a culverin, four thousand five hundred; a demi-culverin, three thousand; which, whether it be in iron or brass, must needs be very costly. John Wilkins, Mathematical Magick.


  1. Cannon

    A cannon is a large-caliber gun classified as a type of artillery, which usually launches a projectile using explosive chemical propellant. Gunpowder ("black powder") was the primary propellant before the invention of smokeless powder during the late 19th century. Cannons vary in gauge, effective range, mobility, rate of fire, angle of fire and firepower; different forms of cannon combine and balance these attributes in varying degrees, depending on their intended use on the battlefield. A cannon is a type of heavy artillery weapon. The word cannon is derived from several languages, in which the original definition can usually be translated as tube, cane, or reed. In the modern era, the term cannon has fallen into decline, replaced by guns or artillery, if not a more specific term such as howitzer or mortar, except for high-caliber automatic weapons firing bigger rounds than machine guns, called autocannons. The earliest known depiction of cannons appeared in Song dynasty China as early as the 12th century; however, solid archaeological and documentary evidence of cannons do not appear until the 13th century. In 1288 Yuan dynasty troops are recorded to have used hand cannon in combat, and the earliest extant cannon bearing a date of production comes from the same period. By the early 14th century, possible mentions of cannon had appeared in the Middle East and the depiction of one in Europe by 1326. Recorded usage of cannon began appearing almost immediately after. They subsequently spread to India, their usage on the subcontinent being first attested to in 1366. By the end of the 14th century, cannons were widespread throughout Eurasia. Cannons were used primarily as anti-infantry weapons until around 1374, when large cannons were recorded to have breached walls for the first time in Europe. Cannons featured prominently as siege weapons, and ever larger pieces appeared. In 1464 a 16,000 kg (35,000 lb) cannon known as the Great Turkish Bombard was created in the Ottoman Empire. Cannons as field artillery became more important after 1453, with the introduction of limber, which greatly improved cannon maneuverability and mobility. European cannons reached their longer, lighter, more accurate, and more efficient "classic form" around 1480. This classic European cannon design stayed relatively consistent in form with minor changes until the 1750s.


  1. cannon

    A cannon is a large, heavy piece of artillery typically used in warfare, which is mounted on wheels, a base or a ship, and typically designed to fire projectiles over long distances. These projectiles, such as iron balls, shells, or bullets, are propelled by the force of explosive material, such as gunpowder, ignited within a hollow tube. The term "cannon" can also refer to the tube itself through which the projectile is fired.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Cannon

    of Cannon

  2. Cannonnoun

    a great gun; a piece of ordnance or artillery; a firearm for discharging heavy shot with great force

  3. Cannonnoun

    a hollow cylindrical piece carried by a revolving shaft, on which it may, however, revolve independently

  4. Cannonnoun

    a kind of type. See Canon

  5. Cannon

    see Carom

  6. Etymology: [F. cannon, fr. L. canna reed, pipe, tube. See Cane.]


  1. Cannon

    A cannon is any piece of artillery that uses gunpowder or other usually explosive-based propellants to launch a projectile. Cannon vary in caliber, range, mobility, rate of fire, angle of fire, and firepower; different forms of cannon combine and balance these attributes in varying degrees, depending on their intended use on the battlefield. The word cannon is derived from several languages, in which the original definition can usually be translated as tube, cane, or reed. The plural of cannon is also cannon in British English, but in American English, cannons is generally preferred. In the modern era, the term cannon has fallen into decline, replaced by "guns" or "artillery" if not a more specific term such as "mortar" or "howitzer", except for in the field of aerial warfare, where it is usually shorthand for autocannon. First invented in China, cannon were among the earliest forms of gunpowder artillery, and over time replaced siege engines—among other forms of aging weaponry—on the battlefield. In the Middle East, the first use of the hand cannon is argued to be during the 1260 Battle of Ain Jalut between the Mamluks and Mongols. The first cannon in Europe were probably used in Iberia in the 11 and 12th centuries, and English cannon were first deployed in the Hundred Years' War, at the Battle of Crécy, in 1346. On the African continent, the cannon was first used by the Somali Imam Ahmad ibn Ibrihim al-Ghazi of the Adal Sultanate in his conquest of the steppes of Ugaden in 1529. It was during this period, the Middle Ages, that cannon became standardized, and more effective in both the anti-infantry and siege roles. After the Middle Ages most large cannon were abandoned in favor of greater numbers of lighter, more maneuverable pieces. In addition, new technologies and tactics were developed, making most defences obsolete; this led to the construction of star forts, specifically designed to withstand artillery bombardment though these too would find themselves rendered obsolete when explosive and armour piercing rounds made even these types of fortifications vulnerable.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Cannon

    kan′un, n. a great gun used in war: a stroke in billiards in which the player hits both the red and his opponent's ball.—v.i. to cannonade: to make a cannon at billiards: to collide.—n. Cannonade′, an attack with cannon.—v.t. to attack or batter with cannon.—ns. Cannonad′ing; Cann′on-ball, a ball usually made of cast-iron, to be shot from a cannon; Cann′on-bit, or Cann′on, a smooth round bit; Cann′on-bone, the long bone between the knee and the foot of a horse; Cannoneer′, Cannonier′, one who manages cannon; Cann′on-game, a form of billiards in which, the table having no pockets, the game consists in making a series of cannons; Cann′on-met′al, an alloy of about 90 parts of copper and 10 of tin, from which cannon are manufactured.—adj. Cann′on-proof, proof against cannon-shot.—ns. Cann′onry, cannonading: artillery; Cann′on-shot, a cannon-ball: the distance to which a cannon will throw a ball. [Fr. canon, from L. canna, a reed.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. cannon

    The well-known piece of artillery, mounted in battery on board or on shore, and made either of brass or iron. The principal parts are:--1st. The breech, together with the cascable and its button, called by seamen the pommelion. The breech is of solid metal, from the bottom of the concave cylinder or chamber to the cascable. 2d. The trunnions, which project on each side, and serve to support the cannon, hold it almost in equilibrio. 3d. The bore or caliber, is the interior of the cylinder, wherein the powder and shot are lodged when the cannon is loaded. The entrance of the bore is called the mouth or muzzle. It may be generally described as gradually tapering, with the various modifications of first and second reinforce and swell, to the muzzle or forward end. (See GUN.)

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. cannon

    A military engine of which the general form is that of a hollow cylinder closed at one end, and variously mounted, used for throwing balls and other instruments of death by force of gunpowder. Cannons are made of iron, brass, bronze, and sometimes of steel rods welded together, and are of different sizes. They are classified, from their nature, guns, howitzers, and mortars; also from their use, as field, mountain, prairie, sea-coast, and siege; also as rifled and smooth-bore. See Ordnance.

Suggested Resources

  1. Cannon

    Canon vs. Cannon -- In this Grammar.com article you will learn the differences between the words Canon and Cannon.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Cannon is ranked #466 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Cannon surname appeared 71,085 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 24 would have the surname Cannon.

    69.7% or 49,603 total occurrences were White.
    24.5% or 17,416 total occurrences were Black.
    2.4% or 1,720 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    2.2% or 1,607 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    0.5% or 384 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.
    0.5% or 355 total occurrences were Asian.

How to pronounce cannon?

How to say cannon in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of cannon in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of cannon in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of cannon in a Sentence

  1. Winfield Hancock, Gods and Generals, pg 128, paragraph 3:

    Sir, it is not God who will assemble us on the battlefield, nor position our troops, nor place the cannon, and it is not God who will aim the musket.

  2. Evan Nappen:

    This is a Queen Anne flintlock, which is a very pretty gun, the barrel looks like a cannon and it has a single shot – you have to actually untwist the barrel to load it – it’s pretty involved to even attempt to load it. But the craftsmanship is from the 1760s, and it’s just magnificent to think that every piece of it was hand-made.

  3. Micah Sifry:

    He is definitely a loose cannon in terms of how he uses his Twitter account, at the same time, he hasn’t been hurt by it yet because apparently a big chunk of what he’s saying is popular among Republican voters.

  4. Andrei Medvedev:

    We were just thrown to fight like cannon fodder.

  5. Chris Harrison:

    This particular piece of work on the Teacup Galaxy has provided new insight into how the black holes [drive energy] in ordinary galaxies, they appear to be capable of driving jets of charged particles that collide into the gas. You could imagine the ‘jet’ as like a water cannon being driven into a crowd of people - the water cannon collides with the crowd and causes it to break up and disperse rapidly. In this analogy, the crowd represents the gas in the galaxy that is trying to form stars, but is destroyed by the jet.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for cannon

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"cannon." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 25 May 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/cannon>.

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