canonical form


: the simplest form of something
specifically : the form of a square matrix that has zero elements everywhere except along the principal diagonal

Examples of canonical form in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Photo-illustration: Lauren Joseph; Getty Images The platform is the canonical form of internet business: a two-sided market that facilitates connections between end-users and business customers. Cory Doctorow, WIRED, 17 Jan. 2024 But their music wasn’t reaching many people in its canonical form. Julian Lucas, The New Yorker, 3 July 2023 In recent years, mathematicians have identified the canonical forms of other random processes — and have won some of the highest honors in the field as a result. Quanta Magazine, 2 July 2019 Yet mathematicians have discovered that these random processes converge to certain canonical forms. Quanta Magazine, 2 July 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'canonical form.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1851, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of canonical form was in 1851

Dictionary Entries Near canonical form

Cite this Entry

“Canonical form.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Apr. 2024.

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