Definition of canonic in US English:



  • 1Music
    In canon form.

    • ‘The work mixes long, singing lines with fugal and canonic sections.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, in some of the ‘Gloria’ sections of his canticles Purcell indulges in ingenious canonic writing, inspired it seems by earlier examples by Child and Blow.’
    • ‘The canonic working of the tune in the accompaniment is most ingenious.’
    • ‘Certainly, the canonic writing of the first movement, the contrapuntally distinct lines of the second, and the thematic concision of both appear less evident in the last two movements.’
    • ‘The title is not random; canonic counterpoint gives this music its hermetic quality, and one can draw parallels between the music's busy patterns and the busy patterns of city living.’
  • 2

    another term for canonical
    • ‘The staged play of this canonic text includes snatches of 50 poems in the first act, and a 60-minute adaptation of Beautiful Losers, Cohen's still-controversial second novel, in the second.’
    • ‘No theory can be taken as forever canonic and the case of Greek mythology is long overdue for a new paradigm.’
    • ‘There's an unspoken rule that when one reviews a revival of an older or canonic work you're not allowed to comment on the original text.’
    • ‘Highly prominent within this prolific output of Marian images are three canonic oil-pastel-on-paper portraits by Yolanda Lopez of herself, her mother, and grandmother, each in the guise of la Guadalupana.’
    • ‘However those critical scholars who are drawing conclusions from the canonic texts alone believe that the woman Jesus rescued and Mary were two separate persons.’
    • ‘However, he is at pains to point out that there is no one author of the canonic interpretation of a particular building; it is developed collectively over time, the cumulative, filtered effect of many previous responses.’
    • ‘Another Fringe gem, this one a canonic presentation of an alternative theatre classic featuring two of my favourite actors - Michele Brown and Coralie Cairns.’
    • ‘For the canonic defense to work, everything substantively provocative in the offending art work has to be played down or simply denied.’
    • ‘As for the decline in literature in general, one can at once point to the waning of canonic writers and works, established and mainstream scholars, conventional genres, and national literary history.’
    • ‘In 1947, the late W.O. Mitchell married prairie topography and meteorology with the historic shorthand of wind as a stand-in for Godhood in the now canonic novel Who Has Seen The Wind.’
    • ‘Ryan admits to not being ‘old enough’ to have seen an original production of Hello Dolly, but also to having been greatly inspired by the canonic directorial force.’
    • ‘The canonic male point of view is put in question by being reproduced, and so to speak re-framed, within a female artist's discourse.’
    • ‘The Holy Synod urged all priests and parishioners to repent and come back to the unity of the canonic church.’
    • ‘I initially thought I'd oppose the whole concept since it suggests a canonic or auteurist bias, and I think the critical concepts of canon and auteur are stressed too much in present day screen culture and criticism.’
    • ‘Despite the seemingly perfect formal design of the capital in its canonic form, there has been subtle but significant variation in the details of this order since antiquity.’


Old English (as a noun): from Old French canonique or Latin canonicus ‘canonical’, from Greek kanonikos, from kanon ‘rule’ (see canon). The adjective dates from the late 15th century.