• synonyms


[kuh-nos-uh; Italian kah-naws-sah]
  1. a ruined castle in N Italy: scene of the penance of Emperor Henry IV of the Holy Roman Empire before Pope Gregory VII in 1077.
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  1. go to Canossa, to humble oneself.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for canossa

Historical Examples of canossa

  • He is wearing a penitent's sack over his regal habit, as at Canossa.

    Three Plays

    Luigi Pirandello

  • The brave Matilda, ever faithful, was shut up in impregnable Canossa.

    The Makers of Modern Rome

    Mrs. (Margaret) Oliphant

  • How could an instrument written at Canossa have been written at Rome?

    A Philosophical Dictionary, Volume 4 (of 10)

    Franois-Marie Arouet (AKA Voltaire)

  • The matter ended at Canossa, as you know, when the Emperor had to kiss the Pope's foot.

    Historical Miniatures

    August Strindberg

  • At this period Bismarck made his famous declaration, "To Canossa we do not go!"

British Dictionary definitions for canossa


  1. a ruined castle in N Italy, in Emilia near Reggio nell'Emilia: scene of the penance done by the Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV before Pope Gregory VII
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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