Definition of


  1. (noun, communication) a collection of books accepted as holy scripture especially the books of the Bible recognized by any Christian church as genuine and inspired
  2. (noun, communication) a complete list of saints that have been recognized by the Roman Catholic Church
  3. (noun, communication) a rule or especially body of rules or principles generally established as valid and fundamental in a field or art or philosophy
    canons of polite society
  4. (noun, communication) a contrapuntal piece of music in which a melody in one part is imitated exactly in other parts
  5. (noun, object) a ravine formed by a river in an area with little rainfall
  6. (noun, person) a priest who is a member of a cathedral chapter

via WordNet, Princeton University

Synonyms of Canon


Origin of the word Canon

  1. "church law," O.E., from L.L. canon, from L., "measuring line, rule," from Gk. kanon "rule," perhaps from kanna "reed" (see cane). Taken in ecclesiastical sense for "decree of the Church," and passed through L.L. to O.E. more
  2. "clergyman," c.1200, from Anglo-Fr. canun, from O.N.Fr. canonie, from L.L. canonicus "clergyman living under a rule," from L. canonicus (adj.) "according to rule," from Gk. kanonikos, from kanon (see canon (1)). more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

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