canon


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

canon

noun act, behest, citation, code, command, commandment, criterion, decree, demand, dictate, dictum, direction, edict, established principle, fiat, funnamental principle, general rule, imperative, imposition, interdiction, law, legislation, lex, mandate, manifesto, norma, order, ordinance, precept, prescript, prescription, proclamation, pronunciamento, public announcement, regula, regulation, requirement, requisition, rescript, rule, rule of conduct, ruling, standard, statute, test, ultimatum, warrant, word, writ
Associated concepts: canon law, canons of construction, canons of ethics, canons of judicial ethics, canons of justice, professional canon, rule of construction
See also: article, belief, bylaw, code, codification, constitution, direction, directive, doctrine, dogma, edict, law, legislation, mandate, maxim, order, ordinance, pandect, precept, prescription, principle, regulation, rubric, rule, standard, statute

CANON, eccl. law. This word is taken from the Greek, and signifies a rule or law. In ecclesiastical law, it is also used to designate an order of religious persons. Francis Duaren says, the reason why the ecclesiastics called the rules they established canons or rules, (canones id est regulas) and not laws, was modesty. They did not dare to call them (leges) laws, lest they should seem to arrogate to themselves the authority of princes and magistrates. De Sacris Ecclesiae Ministeriis, p. 2, in pref. See Law, Canon.

LAW, CANON. The canon law is a body of Roman ecclesiastical law, relative to such matters as that church either has or pretends to have the proper jurisdiction over:
     2. This is compiled from the opinions of the ancient Latin fathers, the decrees of general councils, and the decretal epistles and bulls of the holy see. All which lay in the same confusion and disorder as the Roman civil law, till about the year 1151, when one Gratian, an Italian monk, animated by the discovery of Justinian's Pandects, reduced the ecclesiastical constitutions also into some method, in three books, which he entitled Concordia discordantium canonum, but which are generally known by the name of Decretum Gratiani. These reached as low as the time of Pope Alexander III. The subsequent papal decrees to the pontificate of Gregory IX., were published in much the same method, under the auspices of that pope, about the year 1230, in five books, entitled Decretalia Gregorii noni. A sixth book was added by Boniface VIII., about the year 1298, which is called Sextus decretalium. The Clementine constitution or decrees of Clement V., were in like manner authenticated in 1317, by his successor, John XXII., who also published twenty constitutions of his own, called the Extravagantes Joannis, all of which in some manner answer to the novels of the civil law. To these have since been added some decrees of the later popes, in five books called Extravagantes communes. And all these together, Gratian's Decrees, Gregory's Decretals, the Sixth Decretals, the Clementine Constitutions, and the Extravagants of John and his successors, form the Corpus juris canonici, or body of the Roman canon law. 1 Bl. Com. 82; Encyclopedie, Droit Canonique, Droit Public Ecclesiastique; Dict. de Jurispr. Droit Canonique; Ersk. Pr. L. Scotl. B. 1, t. 1, s. 10. See, in general, Ayl. Par. Jur. Can. Ang.; Shelf. on M. & D. 19; Preface to Burn's Eccl. Law, by Thyrwhitt, 22; Hale's Hist. C. L. 26-29; Bell's Case of a Putative Marriage, 203; Dict. du Droit Canonique; Stair's Inst. b. 1, t. 1, 7.

References in classic literature ?
When the canon heard both the prisoner and the man who was at liberty talk in such a strain he was ready to cross himself in his astonishment, and could not make out what had befallen him; and all his attendants were in the same state of amazement.
I sprang up at the words with a dread in my mind, my fears written so plainly in my face, that the old canon came out after me into the garden.
The poor canon of the cathedral of Paris was spiked again.
The roar of our rifles was constantly shattering the world-old silence of stupendous canons upon which the eye of man had never before gazed.
After an hour's rest they advanced again along the canon, until they presently came to a little valley, from which several rocky gorges diverged.
The going was good; they were on the last lap; and he raced the dogs down through Dyea Canon and along the hard-packed trail that led to Dyea Post.
For my second place of concealment I chose what seemed in the darkness a narrow canon leading through a range of rocky hills.
The truth of this remark is indeed shown by that old canon in natural history of Natura non facit saltum.
Three more huskies were added to the team inside an hour, making a total of nine, and before another quarter of an hour had passed they were in harness and swinging up the trail toward the Dyea Canon.
Crisparkle, Minor Canon and good man, lately 'Coach' upon the chief Pagan high roads, but since promoted by a patron (grateful for a well-taught son) to his present Christian beat; betakes himself to the gatehouse, on his way home to his early tea.
Once again he was nearly killed, and once again under the name of Douglas he worked in a lonely canon, where with an English partner named Barker he amassed a fortune.
A charming old Italian writer has laid down the canons of perfect feminine beauty with much nicety in a delicious discourse, which, as he delivered it in a sixteenth- century Florentine garden to an audience of beautiful and noble ladies, an audience not too large to be intimate and not too small to be embarrassing, it was his delightful good fortune and privilege to illustrate by pretty and sly references to the characteristic beauties of the several ladies seated like a ring of roses around him.