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

Keep scrolling for more

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 The phrase, and an image of a cannon, then flew on a flag which has since become a symbol of Texan independence and defiance. Benjamin Wermund, Houston Chronicle, "Texas Republican lawmaker to Beto O’Rourke: ‘My AR is ready for you’," 13 Sep. 2019 The 90-minute narrated boat ride around Boston Harbor includes a water view of the USS Constitution as the crew fires its cannon and lowers its flag for the nightly sunset ritual. Pamela Wright, BostonGlobe.com, "5 easy New England getaways before summer ends," 6 Aug. 2019 Later, Revere opened a foundry popular for producing cannons and metal bells. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Exploring Paul Revere’s Legacy Beyond His Famed Midnight Ride," 12 Sep. 2019 Expect an explosive performance from the symphony as well as cannons and fireworks. San Diego Union-Tribune, "12 things to do in San Diego this weekend: Barona Powwow, Latinx New Play Festival, Sand Sculpting Challenge," 30 Aug. 2019 Bird strikes on planes occur regularly around the world, even though airports use bird distress signals, air cannons and other methods to chase them away from runways. Washington Post, "Putin gives pilot who landed in cornfield Russia’s top medal," 16 Aug. 2019 Bird strikes on planes occur regularly around the world, and airports use bird distress signals, air cannons and other means to chase birds away — measures which aren’t always efficient. Vladimir Isachenkov, BostonGlobe.com, "Photos: Russian pilot hailed as hero after emergency landing in cornfield," 15 Aug. 2019 Bird strikes on planes occur regularly around the world even though airports use bird distress signals, air cannons and other means to chase birds away from runways. Time, "Russian Airliner Lands Safely After Both Engines Fail – Drawing 'Miracle on the Hudson' Comparisons," 15 Aug. 2019 Bird strikes on planes occur regularly around the world even though airports use bird distress signals, air cannons and other means to chase birds away from runways. Vladimir Isachenkov, Anchorage Daily News, "Russian pilot hailed as hero after bird strike disables jet," 15 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Stefano Sabelli let rip from range, but his shot cannoned off Ricardo Rodriguez and seemed destined to find its way into the back of the net. SI.com, "7 of the Best Moments From Another Incredible Weekend of Serie A Football," 3 Sep. 2019 Pavel Florin gets backing from Shane Warne A race to be fit Scans later showed no fracture to Smith's arm but the 92mph bouncer that cannoned into the Australian's neck turned out to have had a more lasting effect. Ben Morse, CNN, "Steve Smith's concussion raises troubling memories for Australian cricket," 19 Aug. 2019 His attempt cannoned off the post; England took a sigh of relief but there was plenty of work still to do. SI.com, "UEFA European Under-21 Championship Roundup: Croatia Slump Against Romania & England Lose Late On," 19 June 2019 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about cannon

Statistics for cannon

Last Updated

27 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for cannon

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for cannon

cannon

noun
How to pronounce Cannon (audio)

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

What made you want to look up cannon? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a calculated move

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Confusing Words—A Quiz

  • alice with tweedle dee and tweedle dum
  • I invented a brand new toaster robot and ______ it "Sir Toasts-a-Lot."
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!