canon

Canon is all about authoritative standards—for literature, sainthood, or behavior. Don't confuse it with cannon with two n's, the big gun that shoots bowling-size balls at the enemy.

College students used to read what was called the "literary canon," until they noticed that they were written by dead white men. Pretzels dipped in Coke may be tasty, but they're not ready to be entered into the canon of two great tastes that go well together: oreos + milk, donut + coffee, apple pie + ice cream.

PRIMARY MEANINGS OF: canon

1
n
a collection of books accepted as holy scripture especially the books of the Bible recognized by any Christian church as genuine and inspired
2
n
a priest who is a member of a cathedral chapter
3
n
a contrapuntal piece of music in which a melody in one part is imitated exactly in other parts
4
n
a ravine formed by a river in an area with little rainfall
FULL DEFINITIONS OF: canon
1

n a collection of books accepted as holy scripture especially the books of the Bible recognized by any Christian church as genuine and inspired

Type of:
sacred scripture, scripture
any writing that is regarded as sacred by a religious group

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”
Type of:
prescript, rule
prescribed guide for conduct or action

n a complete list of saints that have been recognized by the Roman Catholic Church

Type of:
list, listing
a database containing an ordered array of items (names or topics)
2

n a priest who is a member of a cathedral chapter

Types:
prebendary
a canon who receives a prebend for serving the church
Type of:
priest
a clergyman in Christian churches who has the authority to perform or administer various religious rites; one of the Holy Orders
3

n a contrapuntal piece of music in which a melody in one part is imitated exactly in other parts

Types:
enigma canon, enigmatic canon, enigmatical canon, riddle canon
a canon in which the entrances of successive parts were indicated by cryptic symbols and devices (popular in the 15th and 16th centuries)
Type of:
composition, musical composition, opus, piece, piece of music
a musical work that has been created
4

n a ravine formed by a river in an area with little rainfall

Synonyms:
canyon
Type of:
ravine
a deep narrow steep-sided valley (especially one formed by running water)
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