can·​on·​ize | \ˈka-nə-ˌnīz \
canonized\ -​ˌnīzd ; in "Hamlet" usually  kə-​ˈnä-​ˌnīzd \; 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 \ 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

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 Romero, who was gunned down while saying Mass, will be canonized on Oct. 14. Fox News, "Pope clears way for beatification of slain Argentina bishop," 9 June 2018 The abbey’s venerable 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). Stephen Castle, New York Times, "Stephen Hawking Enters ‘Britain’s Valhalla,’ Where Space Is Tight," 15 June 2018 Korn have been canonized as metal icons -- nu or otherwise -- and 25 years later, their debut’s rightfully being hailed as one of the most original albums of the ’90s. Richard S. He, Billboard, "August 18, 1998: Korn, Kid Rock, Orgy & The Biggest Day in Nu-Metal History," 30 May 2018 Yadier Molina, a player Cardinals fans have canonized, is the chief offender. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brewers fans, if you had to pick one, who do you despise more? Cardinals or Cubs?," 12 June 2018 Every one of those drivers he's compared to has had his face canonized on the legendary Borg-Warner Trophy. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: Will Power achieves immortality with Indy 500 win," 27 May 2018 John Paul Vershey, 16, of Portage, viewed the relics with his mother, Lynn Vershey, who named her son after Pope John Paul II, who canonized St. Pio in 2002. Carole Carlson, Post-Tribune, "Saint’s relics draw crowd to Holy Angels," 27 Apr. 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

29 Sep 2018

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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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a private place of worship

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