Canonical letters
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.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • canonical letters — canonical letters, letters formerly interchanged by Christian clergymen as testimonials of their faith, for use especially in their travels to distinguish them from heretics when their faith was called into question …   Useful english dictionary

  • canonical — 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Canonical books — 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Canonical epistles — 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Canonical form — 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Canonical hours — 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Canonical life — 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Canonical obedience — 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Canonical punishments — 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Canonical Scriptures — 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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