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See more synonyms for canonize on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), can·on·ized, can·on·iz·ing.
  1. Ecclesiastical. to place in the canon of saints.
  2. to glorify.
  3. to make canonical; place or include within a canon, especially of scriptural works: They canonized the Song of Solomon after much controversy.
  4. to consider or treat as sacrosanct or holy: They canonized his many verbal foibles and made them gospel.
  5. to sanction or approve authoritatively, especially ecclesiastically.
  6. Archaic. to deify.
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Also especially British, can·on·ise.

Origin of canonize

1350–1400; Middle English. See canon1, -ize
Related formscan·on·i·za·tion, nouncan·on·iz·er, nounsu·per·can·on·i·za·tion, nounun·can·on·i·za·tion, nounun·can·on·ize, verb (used with object), un·can·on·ized, un·can·on·iz·ing.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for canonization



verb (tr)
  1. RC Church to declare (a person) to be a saint and thus admit to the canon of saints
  2. to regard as holy or as a saint
  3. to sanction by canon law; pronounce valid
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Derived Formscanonization or canonisation, noun
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 canonization


late 14c., from Medieval Latin canonizationem (nominative canonizatio), noun of action from past participle stem of canonizare (see canonize).

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late 14c., "to place in the canon or calendar of saints," from Old French cannonisier and directly from Medieval Latin canonizare, from Late Latin canon "church rule" (see canon (n.1)). Related: Canonized; cannonizing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

canonization in Culture


Official enrollment of a dead person as a saint in the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.