When you canonize a person, you put him on a pedestal — in other words, you think he's so wonderful that he can do no wrong.

You might canonize your grandmother after she dies, choosing to remember her as a saint who never raised her voice and was kind to everyone. When the Roman Catholic Church canonizes someone, it has a slightly different meaning. The Church canonizes people who have performed miracles and are declared — literally — to be saints. The literal meaning is "place in the canon of saints," and it comes from the Latin canon, "church rule."

Definitions of canonize
  1. verb
    declare (a dead person) to be a saint
    “After he was shown to have performed a miracle, the priest was canonized
    synonyms: canonise, saint
    see moresee less
    type of:
    adjudge, declare, hold
    declare to be
  2. verb
    treat as a sacred person
    “He canonizes women”
    synonyms: canonise
    see moresee less
    type of:
    exalt, extol, glorify, laud, proclaim
    praise, glorify, or honor
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week