can·​o·​py | \ ˈka-nə-pē How to pronounce canopy (audio) \
plural canopies

Definition of canopy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a cloth covering suspended over a bed
b : a cover (as of cloth) fixed or carried above a person of high rank or a sacred object : baldachin A canopy hung over the altar.
c : a protective covering: such as
(1) : the uppermost spreading branchy layer of a forest
(2) : awning, marquee A canopy was erected over the grandstand.
2 : an ornamental rooflike structure
3a : the transparent enclosure over an airplane cockpit
b : the fabric part of a parachute that catches the air


canopied; canopying

Definition of canopy (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to cover with or as if with a canopy Tall trees canopied the island.

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Synonyms for canopy

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of canopy in a Sentence

Noun A canopy hung over the altar. trees line both sides of the garden path, with their foliage forming a leafy canopy for walkers
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Mature trees that have reached full root, bark and canopy development deal with climate variability better than young trees. William Moomaw, The Conversation, "Keeping trees in the ground where they are already growing is an effective low-tech way to slow climate change," 22 Feb. 2021 This canopy tent covers up to 100 square feet, and comes in multiple sizes and colors, depending on your space needs and aesthetic preferences. Hanna Horvath, NBC News, "5 best canopy tents for outdoor gatherings in 2021," 22 Feb. 2021 Your tent will come with some stakes but usually not enough to secure the canopy and all the guy lines. Adrienne Donica, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Winter Tents for Your Next Snowy Adventure," 3 Dec. 2020 And research suggests that industrially managed lands, which contain dense stands of uniformly aged trees and no canopy of mature overstory to cut wind speeds, can burn with greater intensity in wildfires. oregonlive, "Oregon’s Labor Day wildfires raise controversial questions about how forests are managed," 31 Oct. 2020 That would double the tree canopy and require planting 10,000 trees per year on average. The Arizona Republic, "Dangerous heat, unequal consequences," 19 Jan. 2021 The Riverkeeper vessel cut away from the dam and motored downstream under a confetti of white pelicans and bald eagles, and between shorelines of heavy tree canopy. Kevin Spear,, "Crippled Apalachicola River leaves wetland forests in peril, famous oysters extinct | Part 2 of Special Series," 10 Dec. 2020 The property includes a tree canopy and Woodward Creek, a stream tributary of the Cuyahoga River. Robin Goist, cleveland, "Akron accepting bids for conserving Theiss Road property in Merriman Valley," 4 Dec. 2020 Officials have also adjusted the criteria the city will consider when approving parks, such as whether the park will have a shade and an adequate tree canopy. David Garrick, San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego to debate bold new proposal for housing, parks on Monday," 8 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The human propensity for fashioning tools — though not quite unique — may also have been an adaptation to canopy life. Washington Post, "How wood shaped human history, from spears to boats to books," 31 Dec. 2020 Suspended by cables in the tree canopy high above the Atlanta Botanical Garden in the US state of Georgia, this SlothBot is full of sensors taking readings on everything from temperature, humidity, air quality and carbon dioxide levels. Isabelle Gerretsen, CNN, "Robots are joining the fight against coronavirus in India," 11 Nov. 2020 Suspended by cables in the tree canopy high above the Atlanta Botanical Garden, the hyper-energy-efficient SlothBot is packed with sensors that are taking readings on everything from temperature, humidity, air quality and carbon dioxide levels. Drew Kann, CNN, "Meet the 'SlothBot,' the robot taking its sweet time to monitor our climate," 19 Aug. 2020 There’s a spectacular oak woodlands canopy here that provides a cool reprieve even on a triple-digit day. Lisa Boone, Los Angeles Times, "The 15 best places in L.A. to find shade on hot summer days," 24 June 2020 Vaughn Hillyard / NBC News Lush cyprus and black willow trees canopy over these swamps. Vaughn Hillyard /, NBC News, "Louisiana fisherman wait for help from Trump administration," 23 June 2018 The lobby is chock full of artful communal spots, including a lounge canopied by a 500-pound, reclaimed wood hand sculpture; a gallery with rotating works; and a Southwestern joint with a 30-foot mural by Denverite Emanuel Martinez. Stephanie Granada, Sunset, "12 Incredible Hotels for Art Lovers," 22 Jan. 2018 Inspired by Beckham's very own gardens, the terrace will include groupings of troughs and cubes, and a dramatic archway, canopying the entrance into the restaurant with scented garden roses and white wisteria. Vogue, "Victoria Beckham’s Guide to Summer Gardening," 21 May 2018 Luckily, the Stanley McCormick Memorial Court, affectionately known as the the Art Institute’s South Garden, is an oasis of raised concrete beds, canopying trees and a reflecting pool with water splashing down from its interior fountains. Christen A. Johnson,, "6 great outdoor spots to read this summer in Chicago," 21 May 2018

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1594, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for canopy

Noun and Verb

Middle English canope, from Medieval Latin canopeum mosquito net, from Latin conopeum, from Greek kōnōpion, from kōnōps mosquito

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Time Traveler for canopy

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for canopy

Last Updated

27 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Canopy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for canopy



English Language Learners Definition of canopy

: a piece of cloth that hangs over a bed, throne, etc., as a decoration or shelter
: something that hangs or spreads out over an area
: the highest layer of branches in a forest or on a tree


can·​o·​py | \ ˈka-nə-pē How to pronounce canopy (audio) \
plural canopies

Kids Definition of canopy

1 : a covering fixed over a bed or throne or carried on poles (as over a person of high rank)
2 : something that hangs over and shades or shelters something else
3 : the uppermost spreading layer of a forest

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Comments on canopy

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