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

Thomas didn’t win the Cup alone, but history has canonized him so. Globe Staff,, "Tuukka Rask has a chance to write a happy ending," 8 June 2019 Though these singles have yet to be canonized in the manner of her earlier hits, several of them should be. David Cantwell, The New Yorker, "Tanya Tucker’s New Album Might Be the Best of Her Long, Underrated Career," 23 Aug. 2019 Founded in 1933, Newman University is named after John Henry Newman, a 19th-century English cardinal who is set to be canonized as a saint by Pope Francis in October. Stephen Ruiz,, "Former Circle Christian bowler went off to a small college in Kansas. She returns this week for PWBA Orlando Open," 15 Aug. 2019 If the Dodgers win the World Series with a makeshift bullpen, this decision will be canonized. Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Andrew Friedman’s uncharacteristic restraint could haunt Dodgers in October," 31 July 2019 Its revelations are from the mid-1960s, at the height of the civil-rights movement, the years before King was martyred and canonized, his name bestowed upon a national holiday and a thousand avenues and high schools. Lance Morrow, WSJ, "A Reckoning With Martin Luther King," 17 June 2019 In 1920, Joan of Arc was canonized by Pope Benedict XV., "This day in history," 16 May 2018 Serra, who established the first nine missions, was canonized by Pope Francis in 2015 amid protests across the state. Tatiana Sanchez,, "As tensions flare over monuments, universities target California’s mission past," 4 July 2019 There’s even a patron saint of fireworks makers, San Juan de Dios, who was canonized for saving patients from a burning hospital. Frank Shyong,, "An appreciation of the pyrotechnic anarchy of Fourth of July in Los Angeles," 1 July 2019

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

15 Sep 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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to fake an opponent out of position

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