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Definition of canon:

  1. A catalogue of saints acknowledged and canonized in the Roman Catholic Church.
  2. A deep gorge, ravine, or gulch, between high and steep banks, worn by water courses.
  3. A law or rule.
  4. 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.
  5. A member of a cathedral chapter; a person who possesses a prebend in a cathedral or collegiate church.
  6. 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.
  7. In monasteries, a book containing the rules of a religious order.
  8. See Carom.
  9. 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.
  10. The largest size of type having a specific name; - so called from having been used for printing the canons of the church.
  11. The part of a bell by which it is suspended; - called also ear and shank.


law, canyon, polity, code, formula, regulation, economy, order, jurisprudence, principle, declaration, mandate, bible, criterion, commandment, rule, legislation, statute, command, precept, institute, measure, prescription, ordinance, edict, decree, enactment, literature.

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