the canon
canonic ca*non"ic (k[.a]*n[o^]n"[i^]k), canonical ca*non"ic*al (k[.a]*n[o^]n"[i^]*kal), a. [L. canonicus, LL. canonicalis, fr. L. canon: cf. F. canonique. See {canon}.] Of or pertaining to a canon; established by, or according to, a canon or canons. ``The oath of canonical obedience.'' --Hallam. [1913 Webster]

2. Appearing in a Biblical canon; as, a canonical book of the Christian New Testament. [PJC]

3. Accepted as authoritative; recognized. [PJC]

4. (Math.) In its standard form, usually also the simplest form; -- of an equation or coordinate. [PJC]

5. (Linguistics) Reduced to the simplest and most significant form possible without loss of generality; as, a canonical syllable pattern. Opposite of {nonstandard}.

Syn: standard. [WordNet 1.5]

6. Pertaining to or resembling a musical canon. [PJC]

{Canonical books}, or {Canonical Scriptures}, those books which are declared by the canons of the church to be of divine inspiration; -- called collectively {the canon}. The Roman Catholic Church holds as canonical several books which Protestants reject as apocryphal.

{Canonical epistles}, an appellation given to the epistles called also general or catholic. See {Catholic epistles}, under {Canholic}.

{Canonical form} (Math.), the simples or most symmetrical form to which all functions of the same class can be reduced without lose of generality.

{Canonical hours}, certain stated times of the day, fixed by ecclesiastical laws, and appropriated to the offices of prayer and devotion; also, certain portions of the Breviary, to be used at stated hours of the day. In England, this name is also given to the hours from 8 a. m. to 3 p. m. (formerly 8 a. m. to 12 m.) before and after which marriage can not be legally performed in any parish church.

{Canonical letters}, letters of several kinds, formerly given by a bishop to traveling clergymen or laymen, to show that they were entitled to receive the communion, and to distinguish them from heretics.

{Canonical life}, the method or rule of living prescribed by the ancient clergy who lived in community; a course of living prescribed for the clergy, less rigid than the monastic, and more restrained that the secular.

{Canonical obedience}, submission to the canons of a church, especially the submission of the inferior clergy to their bishops, and of other religious orders to their superiors.

{Canonical punishments}, such as the church may inflict, as excommunication, degradation, penance, etc.

{Canonical sins} (Anc. Church.), those for which capital punishment or public penance decreed by the canon was inflicted, as idolatry, murder, adultery, heresy. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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