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Jan 14, 2010
This week's theme
Words relating to religion

This week's words
sacerdotal
precatory
vatic
canonical
eremite
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

canonical

PRONUNCIATION:
(kuh-NON-i-kuhl)

MEANING:
adjective:
1. Authorized; recognized.
2. Religion: Relating to canon law.
3. Art: Relating to a particular artist's works established as authentic and complete.
4. Literature: Relating to a list of literary works permanently established as having highest merit.
5. Math: In simplest or standard form.
6. Music: Relating to a piece of music in which a melody is played by different overlapping voices. Example: Pachelbel's Canon.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin canon (measuring rod, rule), from Greek kanon (rule).

USAGE:
"Shakespeare, Shaw, Ibsen, and heaven knows what other canonical heavyweights one might care to name?"
Matt Wolf; Newcomers Who Stole the Show; The New York Times; Dec 29, 2009.

"Watching John Mighton's play [Half Life] a second time, I found myself wondering how many drafts it must have gone through before reaching its canonical form."
Robert Cushman; Welcome Back to T.O.; Financial Post (Canada); Jan 20, 2007.

See more usage examples of canonical in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof. -Christopher Hitchens, author and journalist (b. 1949)

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