Definition of canonize in US 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’
    • ‘Most intriguing are the author's speculations as to why Joan was finally canonized in 1920.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Judaism does not canonize people as saints nor does it demand the performance of miracles from its heroes.’
    • ‘There was an outcry when he was canonised by the current pope in 2002.’
    • ‘In April 2000, Pope John Paul II canonized a Polish nun whose life and witness he called ‘a gift of God for our time.’’
    • ‘He was canonized in 1935 and is commemorated on 22 June.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Xavier University was founded by Katharine Drexel, someone who is now Saint Katharine Drexel, because Pope John Paul II canonized her.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In 1761 Clement XIII approved his beatification; John XXIII canonized him in 1960.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 the aftermath of Vatican II, however, the nearly universal grief that followed his death led to proposals that the council canonize him by acclamation.’
    • ‘She was canonized for the wrong reasons, but her words and actions are stronger than the seal set on her by Rome.’
    • ‘Eventually, because of her contributions, she was canonized as a saint by the church.’
    • ‘In June 2001, he was canonized for his piety and good works as Saint Bernard of Corleone.’
    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’
      • ‘Some history books have canonized people who have ravaged the rich and shared the treasure with the poor.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He employed standard sociological research methods to a degree unparalleled by the canonized classical sociologists of religion.’
      • ‘Indeterminacy, now canonized, becomes the favorite mark of an art form that has no determinacy in a capitalist society.’
      • ‘This particular effort, however, more closely resembles Plato's canonized critique in the Phaedrus of the new technology called writing.’
      • ‘In our collective memory of historical events, some players are canonized, others are diminished, and the process that separates them often seems arbitrary.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      glorify, acclaim
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    2. 1.2 Accept into the literary or artistic canon.
      as adjective ‘a familiar, canonized writer’
      • ‘The same goes, but more predictably, for Roger Ebert's happily overbearing commentary on Floating Weeds, a film he has famously canonized in print, as part of his Great Movies series.’
      • ‘Most of the private-collection shows of self-taught art that have taken place in this country focus on a relatively small number of already canonized self-taught artists.’
      • ‘Scholars construct arguments around other arguments already authorized by the field and institutionalized by its journals-be it a rhetorical structure, canonized author, or generic convention.’
      • ‘This past December, Anthology Film Archives and MoMA Film held centenaries commemorating Joseph Cornell's contribution to cinema as both a collector and filmmaker, showing his canonized films as well as rarities.’
      • ‘By the 1980s, Grease and Happy Days had become canonized as sources of images both of historical periods and of the theme of adolescence.’
      • ‘Already canonized in the pages of The New York Times and virtually ordained by the glossies, Eminem has become the current hipness litmus.’
      • ‘Aside from these criticisms, One Planet presented an impressive roster of canonized international artists and hot up-and-comers.’
      • ‘Critics are willing to sacrifice an author like Edogawa Rampo to a Gothic jacket because, like Stephen King, he is considered a writer of pulp horror, but canonized masters are, for the most part, protected from such affiliations.’
      • ‘Jaques may never have been able to retire on her royalties, but she gained profits rather than debts from her writing to an extent never experienced by the canonized male poets of Canadian modernism.’
      • ‘Even more important, they would do well to consider looking beyond the relatively small group of canonized artists whose work is continually recycled in exhibitions, books and auction rooms.’
      • ‘A seemingly contrite Welles rode this notoriety to Hollywood where, at the age of 24, he wrote, directed, and starred in Citizen Kane, which has become canonized as one of the greatest films ever made.’
      • ‘The lack of attention to such printed matter might be explained by the fact that most museums do riot consider such ephemera as art (unless it can be attached to a canonized art photographer).’
      • ‘It is surely very strange that Romanticism, alone of our conventional periodizations, customarily includes the texts of a single genre in its list of canonized works.’
      • ‘Writing in margins of canonized texts, both religious and secular, is common in African American writing.’
      • ‘Countless books and articles have either praised or criticized, canonized or vilified Du Bois and his many theories.’
      • ‘Tupac Shakur is the hip-hop icon most frequently canonized in contemporary literature.’
      • ‘For Kingston, claiming Euro-American literature and some of its most canonized voices - notably Whitman and Joyce - represents the labor necessary to claim a tradition.’
      • ‘Ginsberg's poem, ‘Howl’, and Burrough's novel, Naked Lunch, have become cult classics, canonized in American literature by many critics.’
      • ‘When a work is admired and canonized, contingencies such as time and place and function are pushed aside or reformulated to maintain other interests.’
    3. 1.3 Sanction by Church authority.
      • ‘Scripture was vetted and canonized, and a creed adopted and reaffirmed against those who would challenge, alter, or undermine it.’
      • ‘Although his version of the myth has become canonized, many of his details were inventions or alterations.’
      • ‘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).