[ kan-uhn ]
See 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).

  1. Armor. a cylindrical or semicylindrical piece of plate armor for the upper arm or forearm; a vambrace or rerebrace.

  2. Also called cannon bit, canon bit. a round bit for a horse.

  3. the part of a bit that is in the horse's mouth.

  4. (on a bell) the metal loop by which a bell is hung.

  5. Zoology.

    • the part of the leg in which the cannon bone is situated.

  6. British. a carom in billiards.

  7. Underworld Slang. a pickpocket.

verb (used without object)
  1. to discharge cannon.

  2. British. to make a carom in billiards.

Origin of cannon

First recorded in 1375–1425 (earlier in Anglo-Latin, Anglo-French ); late Middle English canon, from Middle French, from Italian cannone, equivalent to cann(a) “tube” (from Latin ) + -one augmentative suffix; see cane

Words that may be confused with cannon

Words Nearby cannon

Other definitions for Cannon (2 of 2)

[ kan-uhn ]

  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. 2023

How to use cannon in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for cannon


/ (ˈkænən) /

nounplural -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

  1. a heavy tube or drum, esp one that can rotate freely on the shaft by which it is supported

  2. the metal loop at the top of a bell, from which it is suspended

  3. billiards

    • a shot in which the cue ball is caused to contact one object ball after another

    • the points scored by this: Usual US and Canadian word: carom

  4. a rebound or bouncing back, as of a ball off a wall

  5. either of the two parts of a vambrace

  1. (intr often foll by into) to collide (with)

  2. short for cannonade

  1. (intr) billiards to make a cannon

Origin of 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

Scientific definitions for Cannon


[ kănən ]

  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.