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canon1

[kan-uh n] /ˈkæn ən/
noun
1.
an ecclesiastical rule or law enacted by a council or other competent authority and, in the Roman Catholic Church, approved by the pope.
2.
the body of ecclesiastical law.
3.
the body of rules, principles, or standards accepted as axiomatic and universally binding in a field of study or art:
the neoclassical canon.
4.
a fundamental principle or general rule:
the canons of good behavior.
5.
a standard; criterion:
the canons of taste.
6.
the books of the Bible recognized by any Christian church as genuine and inspired.
7.
any officially recognized set of sacred books.
8.
any comprehensive list of books within a field.
9.
the works of an author that have been accepted as authentic:
There are 37 plays in the Shakespeare canon.
Compare apocrypha (def 3).
10.
established or agreed-upon constraints governing the background narrative, setting, storyline, characters, etc., in a particular fictional world:
It’s accepted as canon that vampires are harmed by sunlight.
11.
a catalog or list, as of the saints acknowledged by the Church.
12.
Liturgy. the part of the Mass between the Sanctus and the Communion.
13.
Eastern Church. a liturgical sequence sung at matins, usually consisting of nine odes arranged in a fixed pattern.
14.
Music. consistent, note-for-note imitation of one melodic line by another, in which the second line starts after the first.
15.
Printing. a 48-point type.
Origin of canon1
900
before 900; Middle English, Old English < Latin < Greek kanṓn measuring rod, rule, akin to kánna cane
Related forms
canonlike, adjective
Synonym Study
3–5. See principle.

canon2

[kan-uh n] /ˈkæn ən/
noun
1.
one of a body of dignitaries or prebendaries attached to a cathedral or a collegiate church; a member of the chapter of a cathedral or a collegiate church.
2.
Roman Catholic Church. one of the members (canons regular) of certain religious orders.
Origin
1150-1200; Middle English; back formation from Old English canōnic (one) under rule < Medieval Latin canōnicus, Latin: of or under rule < Greek kanōnikós. See canon1, -ic

canyon

or cañon

[kan-yuh n] /ˈkæn yən/
noun
1.
a deep valley with steep sides, often with a stream flowing through it.
Origin
1835-45, Americanism; < American Spanish, Spanish cañón a long tube, a hollow, equivalent to cañ(a) tube (< Latin canna cane) + -on augmentative suffix
Synonyms
gorge, gully, ravine, pass, gap, arroyo, coulee.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for canon
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The remark of canon Gorton, "I began my friendship with a quarrel," might be echoed more than once.

    Musical Criticisms Arthur Johnstone
  • A break in one of these links is called a “pass,” or “canon.”

    The Western World W.H.G. Kingston
  • He, too, had been a professor of canon law at Oxford, was a chaplain to the Pope and precentor of the cathedral church of Exeter.

  • The canon bowed and smiled, manifesting his pleased acquiescence.

    Dona Perfecta B. Perez Galdos
  • The gentle Minor canon has had it in his thoughts to leave the room, without a word.

    The Mystery of Edwin Drood Charles Dickens
British Dictionary definitions for canon

canon1

/ˈkænən/
noun
1.
(Christianity) a Church decree enacted to regulate morals or religious practices
2.
(often pl) a general rule or standard, as of judgment, morals, etc
3.
(often pl) a principle or accepted criterion applied in a branch of learning or art
4.
(RC Church) the complete list of the canonized saints
5.
(RC Church) the prayer in the Mass in which the Host is consecrated
6.
a list of writings, esp sacred writings, officially recognized as genuine
7.
a piece of music in which an extended melody in one part is imitated successively in one or more other parts See also round (sense 31), catch (sense 33)
8.
a list of the works of an author that are accepted as authentic
9.
(formerly) a size of printer's type equal to 48 point
Word Origin
Old English, from Latin, from Greek kanōn rule, rod for measuring, standard; related to kanna reed, cane1

canon2

/ˈkænən/
noun
1.
one of several priests on the permanent staff of a cathedral, who are responsible for organizing services, maintaining the fabric, etc
2.
(RC Church) Also called canon regular. a member of either of two religious orders, the Augustinian or Premonstratensian Canons, living communally as monks but performing clerical duties
Word Origin
C13: from Anglo-French canunie, from Late Latin canonicus one living under a rule, from canon1

cañon

/ˈkænjən/
noun
1.
a variant spelling of canyon

canyon

/ˈkænjən/
noun
1.
a gorge or ravine, esp in North America, usually formed by the down-cutting of a river in a dry area where there is insufficient rainfall to erode the sides of the valley
Word Origin
C19: from Spanish cañón, from caña tube, from Latin canna cane
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for canon
n.

"church law," Old English canon, from Old French canon or directly from Late Latin canon "Church law," in classical Latin, "measuring line, rule," from Greek kanon "any straight rod or bar; rule; standard of excellence," perhaps from kanna "reed" (see cane (n.)). Taken in ecclesiastical sense for "decree of the Church." General sense of "standard of judging" is from c.1600. Related: Canonicity.

"clergyman," c.1200, from Anglo-French canun, from Old North French canonie (Modern French chanoine), from Church Latin canonicus "clergyman living under a rule," noun use of Latin adjective canonicus "according to rule" (in ecclesiastical use, "pertaining to the canon"), from Greek kanonikos, from kanon "rule" (see canon (n.1)).

n.2

"clergyman," c.1200, from Anglo-French canun, from Old North French canonie (Modern French chanoine), from Church Latin canonicus "clergyman living under a rule," noun use of Latin adjective canonicus "according to rule" (in ecclesiastical use, "pertaining to the canon"), from Greek kanonikos, from kanon "rule" (see canon (n.1)).

canyon

n.

"narrow valley between cliffs," 1834, from Mexican Spanish cañon, extended sense of Spanish cañon "a pipe, tube; deep hollow, gorge," augmentative of cano "a tube," from Latin canna "reed" (see cane (n.)). But earlier spelling callon (1560s) might suggest a source in calle "street."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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canon in Science
canyon
  (kān'yən)   
A long, deep, narrow valley with steep cliff walls, cut into the Earth by running water and often having a stream at the bottom.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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