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[kan-uh-pee] /ˈkæn ə pi/
noun, plural canopies.
a covering, usually of fabric, supported on poles or suspended above a bed, throne, exalted personage, or sacred object.
an overhanging projection or covering, as a long canvas awning stretching from the doorway of a building to a curb.
an ornamental, rooflike projection or covering.
Also called crown canopy, crown cover. the cover formed by the leafy upper branches of the trees in a forest.
the sky.
the part of a parachute that opens up and fills with air, usually made of nylon or silk.
the transparent cover over the cockpit of an airplane.
verb (used with object), canopied, canopying.
to cover with or as with a canopy:
Branches canopied the road.
Origin of canopy
1350-1400; Middle English canope < Medieval Latin canōpēum, variant of Latin cōnōpēum mosquito net < Greek kōnōpeîon bed with net to keep gnats off, equivalent to kṓnōp(s) gnat + -eion, neuter of -eios adj. suffix
Related forms
supercanopy, noun, plural supercanopies.
uncanopied, adjective
Can be confused
canapé, canopy. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for canopy
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • At night, our couch will be on a platform surmounted by a canopy like a throne.

    The Dream Emile Zola
  • The pole and the canopy of the hammock tangled inextricably its occupant.

    The Leopard Woman Stewart Edward White
  • The hangings were of crimson velvet, and the canopy of the richest purple.

    Imogen William Godwin
  • The canopy is held up by prelates, and the chairmen are in knee-breeches and red velvet.

    The Eternal City Hall Caine
  • Even the ex-Governor only bowed from the Governor's seat under the canopy.

    The Manxman Hall Caine
  • The sun was shooting over the cliffs a canopy as of smoke above their heads.

    The Manxman Hall Caine
British Dictionary definitions for canopy


noun (pl) -pies
an ornamental awning above a throne or bed or held over a person of importance on ceremonial occasions
a rooflike covering over an altar, niche, etc
a roofed structure serving as a sheltered passageway or area
a large or wide covering, esp one high above: the sky was a grey canopy
the nylon or silk hemisphere that forms the supporting surface of a parachute
the transparent cover of an aircraft cockpit
the highest level of branches and foliage in a forest, formed by the crowns of the trees
verb -pies, -pying, -pied
(transitive) to cover with or as if with a canopy
Word Origin
C14: from Medieval Latin canōpeum mosquito net, from Latin cōnōpeum gauze net, from Greek kōnōpeion bed with protective net, from kōnōps mosquito
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 canopy

late 14c., from Old French conope "bed-curtain" (Modern French canapé), from Medieval Latin canopeum, dissimilated from Latin conopeum, from Greek konopeion "Egyptian couch with mosquito curtains," from konops "mosquito, gnat," of unknown origin. The same word (canape) in French, Spanish, and Portuguese now means "sofa, couch." Italian canape is a French loan word.


c.1600, from canopy (n.). Related: Canopied; canopying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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