What does canon mean?

Definitions for canon
ˈkæn əncanon

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. canonnoun

    a rule or especially body of rules or principles generally established as valid and fundamental in a field or art or philosophy

    "the neoclassical canon"; "canons of polite society"

  2. canonnoun

    a priest who is a member of a cathedral chapter

  3. canyon, canonnoun

    a ravine formed by a river in an area with little rainfall

  4. canonnoun

    a contrapuntal piece of music in which a melody in one part is imitated exactly in other parts

  5. canonnoun

    a complete list of saints that have been recognized by the Roman Catholic Church

  6. canonnoun

    a collection of books accepted as holy scripture especially the books of the Bible recognized by any Christian church as genuine and inspired


  1. canonnoun

    A generally accepted principle.

    The trial must proceed according to the canons of law.

  2. canonnoun

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

    "the durable canon of American short fiction" William Styron

  3. canonnoun

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

    the entire Shakespeare canon

  4. canonnoun

    A eucharistic prayer, particularly, the Roman Canon.

  5. canonnoun

    A religious law or body of law decreed by the church.

    We must proceed according to canon law.

  6. canonnoun

    A member of a cathedral chapter

  7. canonnoun

    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.

  8. canonnoun

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

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. CANONnoun

    Etymology: ϰάνων.

    The truth is, they are rules and canons of that law, which is written in all mens hearts; the church had for ever, no less than now, stood bound to observe them, whether the apostle had mentioned them, or no. Richard Hooker, b. iii. § 4.

    His books are almost the very canon to judge both doctrine and discipline by. Richard Hooker, Pref.

    Religious canons, civil laws are cruel,
    Then what should war be? William Shakespeare, Timon.

    Canons in logick are such as these: every part of a division, singly taken, must contain less than the whole; and a definition must be peculiar and proper to the thing defined. Isaac Watts, Logick.

    Canon law is that law, which is made and ordained in a general council, or provincial synod of the church. John Ayliffe.

    These were looked on as lapsed persons, and great severities of penance were prescribed them, as appears by the canons of Ancyra, and many others. Edward Stillingfleet.

    Canon also denotes those books of Scripture, which are received as inspired and canonical, to distinguish them from either profane, apocryphal, or disputed books. Thus we say, that Genesis is part of the sacred canon of the Scripture. John Ayliffe.

    For deans and canons, or prebends, of cathedral churches, in their first institution, they were of great use in the church; they were to be of counsel with the bishop for his revenue, and for his government in causes ecclesiastical. Francis Bacon.

    Swift much admires the place and air,
    And longs to be a canon there.
    A canon! that’s a place too mean:
    No, doctor, you shall be a dean,
    Two dozen canons round your stall,
    And you the tyrant o’er them all. Jonathan Swift.


  1. canon

    Canon is a recognized and accepted principle, rule, law, or list of artistic works that serve as a standard, guideline, or model. The term is often used in the fields of literature, music, and religion to denote a body of work that is considered authentic or of higher significance. Canon can also refer to an established regulation or code of laws in a particular field.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Canonnoun

    a law or rule

  2. Canonnoun

    a law, or rule of doctrine or discipline, enacted by a council and confirmed by the pope or the sovereign; a decision, regulation, code, or constitution made by ecclesiastical authority

  3. Canonnoun

    the collection of books received as genuine Holy Scriptures, called the sacred canon, or general rule of moral and religious duty, given by inspiration; the Bible; also, any one of the canonical Scriptures. See Canonical books, under Canonical, a

  4. Canonnoun

    in monasteries, a book containing the rules of a religious order

  5. Canonnoun

    a catalogue of saints acknowledged and canonized in the Roman Catholic Church

  6. Canonnoun

    a member of a cathedral chapter; a person who possesses a prebend in a cathedral or collegiate church

  7. Canonnoun

    a musical composition in which the voices begin one after another, at regular intervals, successively taking up the same subject. It either winds up with a coda (tailpiece), or, as each voice finishes, commences anew, thus forming a perpetual fugue or round. It is the strictest form of imitation. See Imitation

  8. Canonnoun

    the largest size of type having a specific name; -- so called from having been used for printing the canons of the church

  9. Canonnoun

    the part of a bell by which it is suspended; -- called also ear and shank

  10. Canonnoun

    see Carom

  11. Etymology: [OE. canon, canoun, AS. canon rule (cf. F. canon, LL. canon, and, for sense 7, F. chanoine, LL. canonicus), fr. L. canon a measuring line, rule, model, fr. Gr. kanw`n rule, rod, fr. ka`nh, ka`nnh, reed. See Cane, and cf. Canonical.]


  1. Canon

    Canon Inc. Kiyanon kabushiki-gaisha is a Japanese multinational corporation specialized in the manufacture of imaging and optical products, including cameras, camcorders, photocopiers, steppers, computer printers and medical equipment. Its headquarters are located in Ōta, Tokyo, Japan. Canon has a primary listing on the Tokyo Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the TOPIX index. It has a secondary listing on the New York Stock Exchange.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Cañon

    kan-yon′, n. a deep gorge or ravine between high and steep banks, worn by watercourses. [Sp. cañon, a hollow, from root of Cannon.]

  2. Canon

    kan′un, n. a law or rule, esp. in ecclesiastical matters: a general rule: standard: the books of Scripture accepted as the standard or rule of faith by the Christian Church: a species of musical composition: one bound by certain vows over and above those binding upon regular members of his community—a canon regular: a clerical dignitary belonging to a cathedral, enjoying special emoluments, and obliged to reside there part of the year: a list of saints canonised: (print.) a large kind of type.—n. Can′oness, a female beneficiary of a regular religious college.—adjs. Canon′ic, -al, according to or included in the canon: regular: ecclesiastical.—adv. Canon′ically.—n.pl. Canon′icals, the official dress of the clergy, regulated by the church canons.—ns. Canonic′ity, the state of belonging to the canon of Scripture; Canonisā′tion.—v.t. Can′onise, to enrol in the canon or list of saints.—n. Can′onist, one versed in the canon law.—adj. Canonist′ic.—ns. Can′on-law, a digest of the formal decrees of councils, œcumenical, general, and local, of diocesan and national synods, and of patriarchal decisions as to doctrine and discipline; Can′onry, the benefice of a canon.—Canon of the mass, that part of the mass which begins after the 'Sanctus' with the prayer 'Te igitur,' and ends just before the 'Paternoster;' Canon residentiary, a canon obliged to reside at a cathedral and take a share in the duty; Honorary canon, one having the titular rank of canon in a cathedral, but without duties or emoluments; Minor canon, a cleric in orders, attached to a cathedral, his duty being to assist the canons in singing divine service. [A.S., Fr., from L. canon—Gr. kanōn, a straight rod—kannē, a reed.]

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Canon

    the name given to the body of Scripture accepted by the Church as of divine authority.

Suggested Resources

  1. canon

    Song lyrics by canon -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by canon on the Lyrics.com website.

  2. Canon

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

Surnames Frequency by Census Records

  1. CANON

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Canon is ranked #11839 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Canon surname appeared 2,644 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 1 would have the surname Canon.

    68.8% or 1,820 total occurrences were White.
    14.7% or 390 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    7.3% or 195 total occurrences were Black.
    5.1% or 137 total occurrences were Asian.
    3.5% or 95 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    0.2% or 7 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.

Anagrams for canon »

  1. ancon

  2. Conan

How to pronounce canon?

How to say canon in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of canon in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of canon in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of canon in a Sentence

  1. Peter Kleigel:

    We're convinced that this appointment is not correct because, following canon law, a bishop must be well-regarded, we need a bishop who's credible.

  2. Jenny Dixon:

    This was very much at a time when the canon was either you're a painter or you're a sculptor and only that. He very much wanted to prove that wrong.

  3. Philippa Boyens:

    We have probably committed atrocities with the canon.

  4. Ryan Reynolds:

    I think this character inhabits a space in the comic book universe that no other canon does, it's a miracle that a studio let us make 'Deadpool,' let alone a R-rated 'Deadpool.'.

  5. John Stephens:

    I live in a world in which characters can come back frequently, dC has been really flexible about characters who we in the canon know, 'They survive, because they have to do X later.' Those characters, as we'll see going forward, even in this season, they are not invulnerable. Some of those characters who everyone will expect to survive will not survive, which will make things exciting because all the characters have a target on their back.

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Translations for canon

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"canon." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 24 Sep. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/canon>.

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    a preacher of the Christian gospel
    • A. hunch
    • B. sweep
    • C. evangelist
    • D. elation

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