cannon

noun
can·​non | \ ˈka-nən How to pronounce cannon (audio) \
plural cannons or cannon

Definition of cannon

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 plural usually cannon

a : a large, heavy gun usually mounted on a carriage
b : a heavy-caliber automatic aircraft gun firing explosive shells
c : any device for propelling a substance or object at high speeds an air cannon a T-shirt cannon — see also water cannon
2 or canon : the projecting part of a bell by which it is hung : ear
3 : the part of the leg in which the cannon bone is found
4 sports, informal : a very strong throwing arm While Hershberger had a quick, accurate arm, Lombardi had a cannon.— William Nack a shortstop with a cannon arm

cannon

verb
cannoned; cannoning; cannons

Definition of cannon (Entry 2 of 3)

intransitive verb

: to discharge cannon

Cannon

biographical name
Can·​non | \ ˈka-nən How to pronounce Cannon (audio) \

Definition of Cannon (Entry 3 of 3)

Joseph Gurney 1836–1926 Uncle Joe American politician

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What is the difference between cannon and canon?

Noun

Cannon and canon are occasionally confused by writers, but the two words have independent origins, and do not share a meaning. Cannon is most frequently found used in the sense of "a large gun," and can be traced to the Old Italian word cannone, which means "large tube." Canon, however, comes from the Greek word kanōn, meaning "rule." Although canon has a variety of meanings, it is most often found in the senses of "a rule or law of a church," "an accepted rule," or "a sanctioned or accepted group or body of related works." A loose cannon is "a dangerously uncontrollable person or thing." There are no loose canons.

Examples of cannon in a Sentence

Verb

The ball cannoned off the goalpost and into the net.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Then, like a cannon, Savranenko unleashes her absurdist rap on a group of small children. Vogue, "Meet Alyona Alyona, Ukraine’s Most Unlikely Rap Star," 11 Apr. 2019 Photo: Peter Nicholls/Reuters (Originally published Dec. 20, 2018) Arms makers are targeting the growing menace of drones at airports and on battlefields with a rush to develop new missile systems, radar jammers and laser cannons. Robert Wall, WSJ, "Weapon Makers Declare War on Drones," 3 Mar. 2019 Tim Harris, a young supply officer onboard Pueblo, said the North Koreans quickly surrounded the American spy ship and opened fire with machine guns and 40mm cannon. Lucas Tomlinson, Fox News, "USS Pueblo spy ship crew tell Trump to bring vessel home from North Korea," 22 Sep. 2018 In 1545, freshly refitted to carry a greater number of heavy cannon, the warship Mary Rose sailed into battle against a French fleet north of the Isle of Wight. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Tiny magnets will escort ions out of rare material from a shipwreck," 24 Aug. 2018 The concept of a hail cannon dates back to the late 19th century, and the design has changed little since then. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Farmers Accuse Volkswagen of Causing a Drought With Its Weather Machines," 23 Aug. 2018 When a ship was scuttled, her crew usually removed most items of value, from cannon and small arms to personal possessions and even some of the ship’s fittings. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Captain Cook’s HMS Endeavour found off the coast of Rhode Island," 24 Sep. 2018 Armed with missiles and a six-barrel cannon, and capable of flying at two-and-a-half times the speed of sound, the planes closed most of the distance to Sea-Tac in four minutes, creating a sonic boom on their way. Matt Day, The Seattle Times, "“We were all screaming, ‘Oh my god’” : How the Horizon Air theft and crash unfolded," 12 Aug. 2018 The event will include the firing of the ceremonial cannon and the unveiling of the memorial wall. Emily Sorensen, Pomerado News, "Old-Fashioned Fourth of July offers patriotic fun," 29 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Fragments can cannon about above the Earth’s atmosphere for centuries — striking other satellites, and adding their wreckage to the deadly debris fields. Jamie Seidel, Fox News, "Russia accused of testing a 'killer satellite' in orbit," 16 Aug. 2018 His third and final goal had more than a slice of luck to it, as Ruben Loftus-Cheek's effort from outside of the box cannoned into the back of his right foot and looped into the net. SI.com, "Fans Vote England's Harry Kane as Man of the Moment After Treble in Spectacular Win Over Panama," 25 June 2018 Chances were starting to dry up, but an Eriksen free kick found Jan Vertonghen - who's header cannoned off the post - and Kane couldn't sort his feet out quick enough to tuck into the empty net. SI.com, "Tottenham Boosts Top-Four Standing, Beats Watford on Kane, Alli Goals," 30 Apr. 2018 In stoppage time Mateus Uribe fired a stinging shot from long range and Pickford leaped to keep it out with one outstretched hand, sending it wide of the goal and cannoning into the advertising boards. James Ellingworth, The Seattle Times, "Pickford the hero as England’s penalty curse ends," 3 July 2018 Hakan Calhanoglu also came close to stealing the lead for Milan, blasting one from several yards out following a breakaway, but his shot unluckily cannoned off the crossbar. SI.com, "Juventus 3-1 Milan: Cuadrado & Khedira Break Rossoneri Hearts With Late Stunners at the Allianz," 31 Mar. 2018 The succession of niggling fouls had caused Watford's first-half domination to fall by the wayside and Luka Milivojevic almost made them pay - the midfielder's free kick cannoning back off the upright with Karnezis beaten. SI.com, "Tense Contest Between Watford, Crystal Palace Ends in Stalemate," 21 Apr. 2018 Jesus had the chance to score from the spot in the second half but cannoned his effort off the inside of the post, with the rebound falling to his teammate Bernardo Silva to tap home. SI.com, "'I’m Good at Penalties': Goal-Hungry Ederson Volunteers for Man City Spot Kick Duty," 24 Apr. 2018 Umtiti celebrated Barca's second goal at the Camp Nou by pulling at his badge and pointing to it after his shot had cannoned in off the post and then Roma's Kostas Manolas. Tom Allnutt, chicagotribune.com, "Umtiti: grabbing of badge was to show 'love' for Barcelona," 5 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cannon.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cannon

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1567, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for cannon

Noun

Middle English canon, from Anglo-French, from Old Italian cannone, literally, large tube, augmentative of canna reed, tube, from Latin, cane, reed — more at cane

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Statistics for cannon

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cannon

The first known use of cannon was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for cannon

cannon

noun

English Language Learners Definition of cannon

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a large gun that shoots heavy metal or stone balls and that was once a common military weapon
: a large automatic gun that is shot from an aircraft

cannon

verb

English Language Learners Definition of cannon (Entry 2 of 2)

British : to suddenly and forcefully hit or move into or against someone or something

cannon

noun
can·​non | \ ˈka-nən How to pronounce cannon (audio) \
plural cannons or cannon

Kids Definition of cannon

: a large heavy weapon consisting mostly of a metal tube that is mounted on wheels and is used for firing cannonballs

cannon

noun
can·​non | \ ˈkan-ən How to pronounce cannon (audio) \

Medical Definition of cannon

: the part of the leg in which the cannon bone is found

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More from Merriam-Webster on cannon

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cannon

Spanish Central: Translation of cannon

Nglish: Translation of cannon for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cannon for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about cannon

Comments on cannon

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