The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
canon \can"on\ (k[a^]n"[u^]n), n. [OE. canon, canoun, AS. canon
rule (cf. F. canon, LL. canon, and, for sense 7, F. chanoine,
LL. canonicus), fr. L. canon a measuring line, rule, model,
fr. Gr. kanw`n rule, rod, fr. ka`nh, ka`nnh, reed. See
Cane, and cf. Canonical.]
1. A law or rule.
Or that the Everlasting had not fixed
His canon 'gainst self-slaughter. --Shak.
2. (Eccl.) A law, or rule of doctrine or discipline, enacted
by a council and confirmed by the pope or the sovereign; a
decision, regulation, code, or constitution made by
Various canons which were made in councils held in
the second centry. --Hook.
3. The collection of books received as genuine Holy
Scriptures, called the sacred canon, or general rule of
moral and religious duty, given by inspiration; the Bible;
also, any one of the canonical Scriptures. See Canonical
books, under Canonical, a.
4. In monasteries, a book containing the rules of a religious
5. A catalogue of saints acknowledged and canonized in the
Roman Catholic Church.
6. A member of a cathedral chapter; a person who possesses a
prebend in a cathedral or collegiate church.
7. (Mus.) A musical composition in which the voices begin one
after another, at regular intervals, successively taking
up the same subject. It either winds up with a coda
(tailpiece), or, as each voice finishes, commences anew,
thus forming a perpetual fugue or round. It is the
strictest form of imitation. See Imitation.
8. (Print.) The largest size of type having a specific name;
-- so called from having been used for printing the canons
of the church.
9. The part of a bell by which it is suspended; -- called
also ear and shank.
Note: [See Illust. of Bell.] --Knight.
10. (Billiards) See Carom.
Apostolical canons. See under Apostolical.
Augustinian canons, Black canons. See under
Canon capitular, Canon residentiary, a resident member of
a cathedral chapter (during a part or the whole of the
Canon law. See under Law.
Canon of the Mass (R. C. Ch.), that part of the mass,
following the Sanctus, which never changes.
Honorary canon, a canon who neither lived in a
monastery, nor kept the canonical hours.
Minor canon (Ch. of Eng.), one who has been admitted to a
chapter, but has not yet received a prebend.
Regular canon (R. C. Ch.), one who lived in a conventual
community and followed the rule of St. Austin; a Black
Secular canon (R. C. Ch.), one who did not live in a
monastery, but kept the hours.