canonical

adjective
ca·​non·​i·​cal | \ kə-ˈnä-ni-kəl How to pronounce canonical (audio) \

Definition of canonical

1 : of, relating to, or forming a canon canonical scriptures
2 : conforming to a general rule or acceptable procedure : orthodox His proposals were generally accepted as canonical.
3 : of or relating to a clergyman who is a canon
4 : reduced to the canonical form a canonical matrix

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Other Words from canonical

canonically \ kə-​ˈnä-​ni-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce canonically (audio) \ adverb

Examples of canonical in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web As recent newcomers to the Bay Area taco scene have proven, the idea of there being a canonical way to make a taco is kind of bunk. Soleil Ho, SFChronicle.com, "The dynamism of the ever-changing taco," 6 Jan. 2020 The Vatican had long insisted that such confidentiality was necessary to protect the privacy of the victim, the reputation of the accused and the integrity of the canonical process. Fox News, "Pope Francis lifts 'pontifical secret' in clergy sex abuse cases used to protect pedophiles, silence victims," 18 Dec. 2019 The Vatican had long insisted that such confidentiality was necessary to protect the privacy of the victim, the reputation of the accused and the integrity of the canonical process. Nicole Winfield, The Denver Post, "Pope abolishes “pontifical secret” in clergy sex abuse cases," 17 Dec. 2019 The Vatican had long insisted that such confidentiality was necessary to protect the privacy of the victim, the reputation of the accused and the integrity of the canonical process. NBC News, "Pope abolishes 'pontifical secret' in clergy sex abuse cases," 17 Dec. 2019 The mirrored walls and canonical dishes (céleri rémoulade, soupe de poissons, duck confit) all evoke Paris. Brett Anderson, New York Times, "L’Express, the Beloved Montreal Bistro Where So Much Began," 24 Dec. 2019 The album's nine canonical Christmas songs, steeped in Biblical imagery, are largely reverent to their source material. Sal Cinquemani, Billboard, "21 Best Christmas Albums of the 21st Century," 17 Dec. 2019 Founded in 1988, the National Film Registry has acted as a hall of fame of sorts for influential American movies, with the original crop consisting of standard canonical material like Casablanca, Citizen Kane and Gone With the Wind. Andrew R. Chow, Time, "See the 25 New Additions to the National Film Registry, From Purple Rain to Clerks," 11 Dec. 2019 Calculus is the canonical example of turning the impossible into the routine, and its ideas have nourished not only science, but economics, philosophy, and even literature, too. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Limits, schlimits: It’s time to rethink how we teach calculus," 10 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'canonical.' 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 canonical

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for canonical

see canon entry 1

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Time Traveler for canonical

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for canonical

Last Updated

14 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Canonical.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/canonical. Accessed 17 January 2020.

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More Definitions for canonical

canonical

adjective
How to pronounce canonical (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of canonical

: connected with or allowed by the laws of the Christian church
: of or relating to the books that are considered to be part of a religion's official text
: of or relating to the group of books, plays, poems, etc., that are traditionally considered to be very important

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More from Merriam-Webster on canonical

Spanish Central: Translation of canonical

Nglish: Translation of canonical for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of canonical for Arabic Speakers

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