[kan-uh n]
See more synonyms for cannon on
noun, plural can·nons, (especially collectively) can·non.
  1. a mounted gun for firing heavy projectiles; a gun, howitzer, or mortar.
  2. British Machinery. quill(def 10).
  3. Armor. a cylindrical or semicylindrical piece of plate armor for the upper arm or forearm; a vambrace or rerebrace.
  4. Also called cannon bit, canon bit. a round bit for a horse.
  5. the part of a bit that is in the horse's mouth.
  6. (on a bell) the metal loop by which a bell is hung.
  7. Zoology.
    1. cannon bone.
    2. the part of the leg in which the cannon bone is situated.
  8. British. a carom in billiards.
  9. Underworld Slang. a pickpocket.
verb (used without object)
  1. to discharge cannon.
  2. British. to make a carom in billiards.

Origin of cannon

1375–1425 (earlier in Anglo-Latin, AF); late Middle English canon < Middle French < Italian cannone, equivalent to cann(a) tube (< Latin; see cane) + -one augmentative suffix
Can be confusedcannon canon


[kan-uh n]
  1. Annie Jump [juhmp] /dʒʌmp/, 1863–1941, U.S. astronomer.
  2. Joseph Gur·ney [gur-nee] /ˈgɜr ni/, Uncle Joe, 1836–1926, U.S. politician and legislator. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for cannon

ordnance, howitzer, mortar

Examples from the Web for cannon

Contemporary Examples of cannon

Historical Examples of cannon

British Dictionary definitions for cannon


noun plural -nons or -non
  1. an automatic aircraft gun of large calibre
  2. history a heavy artillery piece consisting of a metal tube mounted on a carriage
  3. a heavy tube or drum, esp one that can rotate freely on the shaft by which it is supported
  4. the metal loop at the top of a bell, from which it is suspended
  5. See cannon bone
  6. billiards
    1. a shot in which the cue ball is caused to contact one object ball after another
    2. the points scored by thisUsual US and Canadian word: carom
  7. a rebound or bouncing back, as of a ball off a wall
  8. either of the two parts of a vambrace
  1. (intr often foll by into) to collide (with)
  2. short for cannonade
  3. (intr) billiards to make a cannon

Word Origin for cannon

C16: from Old French canon, from Italian cannone cannon, large tube, from canna tube, cane 1
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

Word Origin and History for cannon

c.1400, "tube for projectiles," from Anglo-French canon, Old French canon (14c.), from Italian cannone "large tube, barrel," augmentative of Latin canna "reed, tube" (see cane (n.)). Meaning "large ordnance piece," the main modern sense, is from 1520s. Spelling not differentiated from canon till c.1800. Cannon fodder (1891) translates German kanonenfutter (cf. Shakespeare's food for powder in "I Hen. IV").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

cannon in Science


[kănən]Annie Jump 1863-1941
  1. American astronomer noted for her work on classifying stellar spectra. Cannon classified the spectra of 225,300 stars brighter than magnitude 8.5, as well as 130,000 fainter stars.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.