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

Other Words from canonize

canonization \ ˌka-​nə-​nə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce canonize (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 All that’s left to canonize the process is assent by Nigeria’s legislators. Alexander Onukwue, Quartz, 16 Dec. 2021 Much has changed since 1994, when Campion became only the second woman ever nominated for best director, and the chance to canonize her could put Campion in contention for a major Oscar. New York Times, 1 Dec. 2021 While impeccable values decorate the company's hallways, the leader's shadow may canonize symptoms of coercion, deception and fake compliance. Loubna Noureddin, Forbes, 2 June 2021 Some subset of the suburban women who helped canonize Ginsburg might soften their opposition to these candidates, who are now seen, rightly, as mindless apologists for Trumpism and its horrors. David Faris, TheWeek, 20 Sep. 2020 Many of the saints canonized by the Church during the late Middle Ages were lay women and men who had provided assistance for those stricken with plague, leprosy and other infirmities. Adam J. Davis, The Conversation, 27 Apr. 2020 Soon after, Foster joined Davis’s electric band, and participated in a string of recordings that have not been as thoroughly canonized, but nonetheless left an indelible mark on American music. New York Times, 12 Mar. 2020 To some, Thunberg resembles Joan of Arc, the teenage visionary who led the French army into battle in the 15th century and was later canonized as a saint. Ellen Boucher, The Conversation, 12 Dec. 2019 In 1997, a Star Wars trading card game gave him a name; a few years later, the ice cream maker Hood carried in that short scene was officially canonized as a database that saved the Resistance. Wired, 18 Nov. 2019 See More

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.

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

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Cite this Entry

“Canonize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2022.

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Nglish: Translation of canonize for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of canonize for Arabic Speakers


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