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5 definitions found
 for canonical
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  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]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  canonical
      adj 1: appearing in a biblical canon; "a canonical book of the
             Christian New Testament" [syn: canonic, canonical]
      2: of or relating to or required by canon law [syn: canonic,
         canonical]
      3: reduced to the simplest and most significant form possible
         without loss of generality; "a basic story line"; "a
         canonical syllable pattern" [syn: basic, canonic,
         canonical]
      4: conforming to orthodox or recognized rules; "the drinking of
         cocktails was as canonical a rite as the mixing"- Sinclair
         Lewis [syn: canonic, canonical, sanctioned]

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  89 Moby Thesaurus words for "canonical":
     Biblical, Christian, Gospel, Mariological, Mosaic, New-Testament,
     Old-Testament, abbatial, abbatical, accepted, apocalyptic,
     apostolic, approved, archiepiscopal, authentic, authoritative,
     binding, canonic, capitular, capitulary, churchly, clerical,
     confessional, conventional, correct, creedal, customary, dictated,
     didactic, divine, doctrinal, doctrinary, dogmatic, ecclesiastic,
     episcopal, episcopalian, evangelic, evangelical, evangelistic,
     faithful, firm, formulary, gospel, hard and fast, inspired,
     instructive, literal, mandatory, ministerial, of the faith,
     official, orthodox, orthodoxical, pastoral, physicotheological,
     preceptive, prelatial, prelatic, prescribed, prescript,
     prescriptive, priest-ridden, priestish, priestly, proper,
     prophetic, rabbinic, received, regulation, religious, revealed,
     revelational, right, rubric, sacerdotal, sanctioned, scriptural,
     sound, standard, statutory, textual, textuary, theological,
     theopneustic, traditional, traditionalistic, true, true-blue,
     ultramontane
  
  

From The Jargon File (version 4.4.7, 29 Dec 2003) :

  canonical
   adj.
  
      [very common; historically, ?according to religious law?] The usual or
      standard state or manner of something. This word has a somewhat more
      technical meaning in mathematics. Two formulas such as 9 + x and x + 9 are
      said to be equivalent because they mean the same thing, but the second one
      is in canonical form because it is written in the usual way, with the
      highest power of x first. Usually there are fixed rules you can use to
      decide whether something is in canonical form. The jargon meaning, a
      relaxation of the technical meaning, acquired its present loading in
      computer-science culture largely through its prominence in Alonzo Church's
      work in computation theory and mathematical logic (see Knights of the
      Lambda Calculus). Compare vanilla.
  
      Non-technical academics do not use the adjective ?canonical? in any of the
      senses defined above with any regularity; they do however use the nouns
      canon and canonicity (not **canonicalness or **canonicality). The canon of
      a given author is the complete body of authentic works by that author (this
      usage is familiar to Sherlock Holmes fans as well as to literary scholars).
      ?The canon? is the body of works in a given field (e.g., works of
      literature, or of art, or of music) deemed worthwhile for students to study
      and for scholars to investigate.
  
      The word ?canon? has an interesting history. It derives ultimately from the
      Greek ????? (akin to the English ?cane?) referring to a reed. Reeds were
      used for measurement, and in Latin and later Greek the word ?canon? meant a
      rule or a standard. The establishment of a canon of scriptures within
      Christianity was meant to define a standard or a rule for the religion. The
      above non-techspeak academic usages stem from this instance of a defined
      and accepted body of work. Alongside this usage was the promulgation of
      ?canons? (?rules?) for the government of the Catholic Church. The techspeak
      usages (?according to religious law?) derive from this use of the Latin
      ?canon?.
  
      Hackers invest this term with a playfulness that makes an ironic contrast
      with its historical meaning. A true story: One Bob Sjoberg, new at the MIT
      AI Lab, expressed some annoyance at the incessant use of jargon. Over his
      loud objections, GLS and RMS made a point of using as much of it as
      possible in his presence, and eventually it began to sink in. Finally, in
      one conversation, he used the word canonical in jargon-like fashion without
      thinking. Steele: ?Aha! We've finally got you talking jargon too!?
      Stallman: ?What did he say?? Steele: ?Bob just used ?canonical? in the
      canonical way.?
  
      Of course, canonicality depends on context, but it is implicitly defined as
      the way hackers normally expect things to be. Thus, a hacker may claim with
      a straight face that ?according to religious law? is not the canonical
      meaning of canonical.
  

From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015) :

  canonical
  
     (Historically, "according to religious law")
  
     1.  A standard way of writing a formula.  Two
     formulas such as 9 + x and x + 9 are said to be equivalent
     because they mean the same thing, but the second one is in
     "canonical form" because it is written in the usual way, with
     the highest power of x first.  Usually there are fixed rules
     you can use to decide whether something is in canonical form.
     Things in canonical form are easier to compare.
  
     2.  The usual or standard state or manner of
     something.  The term acquired this meaning in computer-science
     culture largely through its prominence in Alonzo Church's
     work in computation theory and mathematical logic (see
     Knights of the Lambda-Calculus).
  
     Compare vanilla.
  
     This word has an interesting history.  Non-technical academics
     do not use the adjective "canonical" in any of the senses
     defined above with any regularity; they do however use the
     nouns "canon" and "canonicity" (not "canonicalness"* or
     "canonicality"*). The "canon" of a given author is the
     complete body of authentic works by that author (this usage is
     familiar to Sherlock Holmes fans as well as to literary
     scholars).  "The canon" is the body of works in a given field
     (e.g. works of literature, or of art, or of music) deemed
     worthwhile for students to study and for scholars to
     investigate.
  
     The word "canon" derives ultimately from the Greek "kanon"
     (akin to the English "cane") referring to a reed.  Reeds were
     used for measurement, and in Latin and later Greek the word
     "canon" meant a rule or a standard.  The establishment of a
     canon of scriptures within Christianity was meant to define a
     standard or a rule for the religion.  The above non-technical
     academic usages stem from this instance of a defined and
     accepted body of work.  Alongside this usage was the
     promulgation of "canons" ("rules") for the government of the
     Catholic Church.  The usages relating to religious law derive
     from this use of the Latin "canon".  It may also be related to
     arabic "qanun" (law).
  
     Hackers invest this term with a playfulness that makes an
     ironic contrast with its historical meaning.  A true story:
     One Bob Sjoberg, new at the MIT AI Lab, expressed some
     annoyance at the incessant use of jargon.  Over his loud
     objections, GLS and RMS made a point of using as much of
     it as possible in his presence, and eventually it began to
     sink in.  Finally, in one conversation, he used the word
     "canonical" in jargon-like fashion without thinking.  Steele:
     "Aha!  We've finally got you talking jargon too!"  Stallman:
     "What did he say?"  Steele: "Bob just used "canonical" in the
     canonical way."
  
     Of course, canonicality depends on context, but it is
     implicitly defined as the way *hackers* normally expect things
     to be.  Thus, a hacker may claim with a straight face that
     "according to religious law" is *not* the canonical meaning of
     "canonical".
  
     (2002-02-06)
  

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