[ kan-uh-nahyz ]
/ ˈkæn əˌnaɪz /

verb (used with object), can·on·ized, can·on·iz·ing.

Ecclesiastical. to place in the canon of saints.
to glorify.
to make canonical; place or include within a canon, especially of scriptural works: They canonized the Song of Solomon after much controversy.
to consider or treat as sacrosanct or holy: They canonized his many verbal foibles and made them gospel.
to sanction or approve authoritatively, especially ecclesiastically.
Archaic. to deify.

Nearby words

  1. canonicate,
  2. canonicity,
  3. canonicus,
  4. canonist,
  5. canonization,
  6. canonry,
  7. canons regular,
  8. canonsburg,
  9. canonship,
  10. canoodle

Also especially British, can·on·ise.

Origin of canonize

1350–1400; Middle English. See canon1, -ize

Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for canonization

British Dictionary definitions for canonization



/ (ˈkænəˌnaɪz) /

verb (tr)

RC Church to declare (a person) to be a saint and thus admit to the canon of saints
to regard as holy or as a saint
to sanction by canon law; pronounce valid
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
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for canonization


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

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.