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Canon Definition

Body of work considered to represent the highest literary standards.

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Other Canon Definition

[n] a collection of books accepted as holy scripture especially the books of the Bible recognized by any Christian church as genuine and inspired
[n] a complete list of saints that have been recognized by the Roman Catholic Church
[n] a rule or especially body of rules or principles generally established as valid and fundamental in a field or art or philosophy; "the neoclassical canon"; "canons of polite society"
[n] a contrapuntal piece of music in which a melody in one part is imitated exactly in other parts
[n] (North America) a ravine formed by a river in an area with little rainfall
[n] a priest who is a member of a cathedral chapter



Misc. Definitions

\Can"on\, n. [OE. canon, canoun, AS. canon rule (cf. F. canon, LL. canon, and, for sense 7, F. chanoine, LL. canonicus), fr. L. canon a measuring line, rule, model, fr. Gr. ? rule, rod, fr. ?, ?, red. See {Cane}, and cf. {Canonical}.]
1. A law or rule. Or that the Everlasting had not fixed His canon 'gainst self-slaughter. --Shak.
2. (Eccl.) A law, or rule of doctrine or discipline, enacted by a council and confirmed by the pope or the sovereign; a decision, regulation, code, or constitution made by ecclesiastical authority. Various canons which were made in councils held in the second centry. --Hock.
3. The collection of books received as genuine Holy Scriptures, called the {sacred canon}, or general rule of moral and religious duty, given by inspiration; the Bible; also, any one of the canonical Scriptures. See {Canonical books}, under {Canonical}, a.
4. In monasteries, a book containing the rules of a religious order.
5. A catalogue of saints acknowledged and canonized in the Roman Catholic Church.
6. A member of a cathedral chapter; a person who possesses a prebend in a cathedral or collegiate church.
7. (Mus.) A musical composition in which the voices begin one after another, at regular intervals, successively taking up the same subject. It either winds up with a coda (tailpiece), or, as each voice finishes, commences anew, thus forming a perpetual fugue or round. It is the strictest form of imitation. See {Imitation}.
8. (Print.) The largest size of type having a specific name; -- so called from having been used for printing the canons of the church.
9. The part of a bell by which it is suspended; -- called also {ear} and {shank}. Note: [See Illust. of {Bell}.] --Knight.
10. (Billiards) See {Carom}. {Apostolical canons}. See under {Apostolical}. {Augustinian canons}, {Black canons}. See under {Augustinian}. {Canon capitular}, {Canon residentiary}, a resident member of a cathedral chapter (during a part or the whole of the year). {Canon law}. See under {Law}. {Canon of the Mass} (R. C. Ch.), that part of the mass, following the Sanctus, which never changes. {Honorary canon}, a canon who neither lived in a monastery, nor kept the canonical hours. {Minor canon} (Ch. of Eng.), one who has been admitted to a chapter, but has not yet received a prebend. {Regular canon} (R. C. Ch.), one who lived in a conventual community and follower the rule of St. Austin; a Black canon. {Secular canon} (R. C. Ch.), one who did not live in a monastery, but kept the hours.
\Ca*[~n]on"\, n. [Sp., a tube or hollow, fr. ca[~n]a reed, fr. L. canna. See {Cane}.] A deep gorge, ravine, or gulch, between high and steep banks, worn by water courses. [Mexico & Western U. S.]

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