Synonyms of canon

1 a statement or body of statements concerning faith or morals proclaimed by a church
  • members of the church must abide by its canons

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2 a record of a series of items (as names or titles) usually arranged according to some system
  • the canon of plays that are attributed to William Shakespeare

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3 a collection or system of rules of conduct
  • the ABA Model Code of Professional Responsibility is a lawyer's canon

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law, rule, regulation, precept, statute, ordinance, canon mean a principle governing action or procedure. law implies imposition by a sovereign authority and the obligation of obedience on the part of all subject to that authority. obey the law rule applies to more restricted or specific situations. the rules of the game regulation implies prescription by authority in order to control an organization or system. regulations affecting nuclear power plants precept commonly suggests something advisory and not obligatory communicated typically through teaching. the precepts of effective writing statute implies a law enacted by a legislative body. a statute requiring the use of seat belts ordinance applies to an order governing some detail of procedure or conduct enforced by a limited authority such as a municipality. a city ordinance canon suggests in nonreligious use a principle or rule of behavior or procedure commonly accepted as a valid guide. the canons of good taste

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Time Traveler for canon

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The first known use of canon was before the 12th century

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Cite this Entry

“Canon.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Feb. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on canon

Dictionary: Definition of canon

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with canon

Spanish Central: Translation of canon

Nglish: Translation of canon for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of canon for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about canon

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