Definition of canonize in English:


(British canonise)


[with object]
  • 1(in the Roman Catholic Church) officially declare (a dead person) to be a saint.

    ‘he was the last English saint to be canonized prior to the Reformation’
    • ‘In June 2001, he was canonized for his piety and good works as Saint Bernard of Corleone.’
    • ‘She was canonized for the wrong reasons, but her words and actions are stronger than the seal set on her by Rome.’
    • ‘The official Church recognizes Juliana for her leadership role in the movement to establish the Feast of Corpus Christi, first celebrated in Liege in 1246; she was canonized in the nineteenth century.’
    • ‘Opus Dei, the work of God, is a little known institution within the Roman Catholic Church whose founder was canonized as saint in the year 2002.’
    • ‘In 1761 Clement XIII approved his beatification; John XXIII canonized him in 1960.’
    • ‘On July 30, the pope intends to canonize Juan Diego, the humble Aztec to whom the Virgin Mary supposedly appeared in 1531.’
    • ‘He was canonized in 1494 and named a Doctor of the Church in 1720.’
    • ‘He was canonized in 1935 and is commemorated on 22 June.’
    • ‘Eventually, because of her contributions, she was canonized as a saint by the church.’
    • ‘Xavier University was founded by Katharine Drexel, someone who is now Saint Katharine Drexel, because Pope John Paul II canonized her.’
    • ‘In the aftermath of Vatican II, however, the nearly universal grief that followed his death led to proposals that the council canonize him by acclamation.’
    • ‘In April 2000, Pope John Paul II canonized a Polish nun whose life and witness he called ‘a gift of God for our time.’’
    • ‘Benedict did try to improve Vatican relations with France after the war by canonizing the French heroine Joan of Arc.’
    • ‘The possibility that his words may be heeded was suggested by the church's decision in 2000 to canonize six men who had signed the letters.’
    • ‘There was an outcry when he was canonised by the current pope in 2002.’
    • ‘From soon after his death posthumous miracles had begun to be attributed to him, and he was officially canonised by Pope John XXII in 1320.’
    • ‘Judaism does not canonize people as saints nor does it demand the performance of miracles from its heroes.’
    • ‘At any historical moment, the church canonizes people whom it needs to canonize to make a point about what it considers, at that period, an exemplary life.’
    • ‘Indeed, the formal Catholic procedures for beatifying and canonizing saints are intended, inter alia, to guard against superstition, miraclemongering, and popular enthusiasms of a possibly heretical nature.’
    • ‘Most intriguing are the author's speculations as to why Joan was finally canonized in 1920.’
    beatify, declare to be a saint
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    1. 1.1 Regard as being above reproach or of great significance.
      ‘we have canonized freedom of speech as an absolute value overriding all others’
      • ‘By presenting the regime's ideology as the criterion for judgment he abolishes it as a subject for inquiry and awards it a moral and canonized status, which stands above any questioning or criticism.’
      • ‘Universities as institutions for basic research and high-level instruction have to maintain, increase and communicate that type of knowledge that is not readily canonized into mass education.’
      • ‘You are practically canonizing parents - saying that They Love You More Than Life Itself; They Have Your Best Interests At Heart; They Only Want What's Best For You.’
      • ‘Indeterminacy, now canonized, becomes the favorite mark of an art form that has no determinacy in a capitalist society.’
      • ‘Some history books have canonized people who have ravaged the rich and shared the treasure with the poor.’
      • ‘He employed standard sociological research methods to a degree unparalleled by the canonized classical sociologists of religion.’
      • ‘In our collective memory of historical events, some players are canonized, others are diminished, and the process that separates them often seems arbitrary.’
      • ‘I'd say the great failing of most intellectual ‘isms’ is that first a model is constructed, then canonized, so that the non-correspondence of reality to the model is seen as a flaw in the people who don't fit the model's caricature.’
      • ‘This particular effort, however, more closely resembles Plato's canonized critique in the Phaedrus of the new technology called writing.’
      • ‘To this end we focus on three aspects: the dominance of British topics and authors, the opening up of the canonised methodological approach and the alleged dominance of railway history.’
      glorify, acclaim
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  • 2Sanction by Church authority.

    • ‘Although his version of the myth has become canonized, many of his details were inventions or alterations.’
    • ‘Scripture was vetted and canonized, and a creed adopted and reaffirmed against those who would challenge, alter, or undermine it.’
    • ‘The contents of the New Testament were formalized by Athanasius of Alexandria in 367 CE, and finally canonized in 382 CE.’
    sanctify, bless, make holy, make sacred, hallow, set apart, dedicate to god
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Late Middle English: from late Latin canonizare ‘admit as authoritative’ (in medieval Latin ‘admit to the list of recognized saints’), from Latin canon (see canon).