adjective Also ca·non·ic.

  1. pertaining to, established by, or conforming to a canon or canons.
  2. included in the canon of the Bible.
  3. authorized; recognized; accepted: canonical works.
  4. Mathematics. (of an equation, coordinate, etc.) in simplest or standard form.
  5. following the pattern of a musical canon.
  6. Linguistics. (of a form or pattern) characteristic, general or basic: the canonical form of the past tense; a canonical syllable pattern.


  1. canonicals, garments prescribed by canon law for clergy when officiating.


  1. belonging to or included in a canon of sacred or other officially recognized writings
  2. belonging to or in conformity with canon law
  3. according to recognized law; accepted
  4. music in the form of a canon
  5. of or relating to a cathedral chapter
  6. of or relating to a canon (clergyman)

early 15c., from Medieval Latin canonicalis, from Late Latin canonicus “according to rule,” in Church Latin, “pertaining to the canon” (see canon (n.2)). Earlier was canonial (early 13c.).

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