can·​on·​ize | \ ˈka-nə-ˌnīz How to pronounce canonize (audio) \
canonized\ ˈka-​nə-​ˌnīzd How to pronounce canonized (audio) ; in "Hamlet" usually  kə-​ˈnä-​ˌnīzd How to pronounce canonized (audio) \; canonizing

Definition of canonize

transitive verb

1 : to declare (a deceased person) an officially recognized saint
2 : to make canonical
3 : to sanction by ecclesiastical authority
4 : to attribute authoritative sanction or approval to
5 : to treat as illustrious, preeminent, or sacred his mother had canonized all his timidities as common sense— Scott Fitzgerald

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Other Words from canonize

canonization \ ˌka-​nə-​nə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce canonization (audio) \ noun

Examples of canonize in a Sentence

She died 100 years ago and was canonized in Rome last year. a singing star so canonized by his fans that they refuse to believe anything bad about him

Recent Examples on the Web

Another option would be to canonize Romero closer to home, such as when Francis travels to Panama in January for World Youth Day. Washington Post, "Slain Salvador Archbishop Romero to be a saint, pope decrees," 7 Mar. 2018 That’s where the city’s Parks Department plunked the Joan of Arc memorial, sculpted by Anna Vaughn Hyatt Huntington in 1915, five years before Joan was canonized, eight years before Shaw wrote his play. Alexis Soloski, New York Times, "Joan of Arc, Superstar? Not to the Woman Playing Her," 11 Apr. 2018 By showcasing eight different songwriters and songwriting teams, these albums esteemed each writer’s output as a body of work, canonized many of the songs, and raised respect for the repertory. ... John Edward Hasse, WSJ, "The Enduring Art of Ella Fitzgerald’s Most Ambitious Album," 5 Feb. 2019 The abbey’s reputation as a prestigious resting place dates from the burial of the last Anglo-Saxon king, Edward the Confessor, in 1066 (he was canonized in 1161 and his body was later transferred to a new shrine). New York Times,, "Hawking laid to rest in Westminster Abbey," 15 June 2018 The tests were performed at the request of the Russian Orthodox Church, which canonized the slain Romanov family in 2000. James Rogers, Fox News, "Incredible photos of the last czar and the Russian royal family surface," 25 Sep. 2018 In the current case, the anonymous senior and self-canonized saint in the White House seems to be involved in some other game, more partisan, complex and craven. Lance Morrow, WSJ, "Trump, Mrs. Wilson and That ‘Senior Official’," 6 Sep. 2018 In 2013, Pope Francis cleared two of the 20th Century’s most influential popes to become saints in the Roman Catholic church, approving a miracle needed to canonize Pope John Paul II and waiving Vatican rules to honor Pope John XXIII., "This day in history," 5 July 2018 Also on October 14, the pope will canonize Pope Paul VI, who led the church from 1963 to 1978. Francis X. Rocca, WSJ, "Pope Francis to Make El Salvador’s Oscar Romero a Saint," 19 May 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for canonize

Middle English, from Medieval Latin canonizare, from Late Latin canon catalog of saints, from Latin, standard

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Statistics for canonize

Last Updated

23 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for canonize

The first known use of canonize was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of canonize

in the Roman Catholic Church : to officially give a dead person a special status as someone very holy : to declare (someone) to be a saint

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Britannica English: Translation of canonize for Arabic Speakers

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showing courage and determination

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