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cannon

Syllabification: can·non
Pronunciation: /ˈkanən
 
/

Definition of cannon in English:

noun

1 (plural usually same) A large, heavy piece of artillery, typically mounted on wheels, formerly used in warfare.
Example sentences
  • Tommy Lynch of Leighlin wrote the ballad, and the old artillery piece was the cannon on the steps of the Courthouse in Carlow.
  • Troops in red coats and blue coats shot off cannons and artillery in his fields as all the people living there sat on the deck, cheering for one side or the other.
  • It's claimed that when the park was turned into a parade ground, practicing troops often found their cannons ' wheels caught in the ruts of graves that had collapsed in on themselves under the weight above them.
1.1An automatic heavy gun that fires shells from an aircraft or tank.
Example sentences
  • Once they were in close, they could deliver devastating fire from their cannon and rocket armament; only a few hits could bring down a heavy bomber.
  • The fighters fired their cannons but did not hit the American aircraft.
  • An issue requiring further debate relates to whether the Army should continue to place importance on heavy tanks and cannons.
2 Billiards chiefly British A carom.
[ early 19th century: alteration of carom]
Example sentences
  • A player makes a cannon by hitting the object balls with the cue ball.
  • The Irishman had squandered several leads during a see-saw match, but he found his groove at the end, benefiting from a lucky cannon to get among the balls.
3 Engineering A heavy cylinder or hollow drum that is able to rotate independently on a shaft.
Example sentences
  • I have news for you folks, a cannon is a machine tool.
  • As the outer layers cooled, they compressed the inner layers, giving the cannon greater tensile strength.
  • The barrel of the cannon passed through the reduction gearbox and the propeller hub.

verb

[no object] Billiards & Snooker Back to top  
Make a cannon shot.
Example sentences
  • Having potted one, Tony tried to move some balls into the open but one ball cannoned onto another and in seconds it clipped the black sending it down.
  • Eight white balls are then struck in succession by a player in an effort to get the balls to fall into the holes with the restriction that the ball being played must cannon off another ball before falling into a hole.

Origin

late Middle English: from French canon, from Italian cannone 'large tube', from canna 'cane, reed' (see cane).

More
  • This large heavy piece of artillery derives its name from French canon, from Italian cannone ‘large tube’, from canna ‘cane, reed, tube’. Soldiers have been called cannon fodder, no more than material to be used up in war, since the late 19th century—the expression is a translation of German Kanonenfutter. Shakespeare did encapsulate a similar idea much earlier, with his phrase ‘food for powder’ in Henry IV Part 1. Canna or its Greek equivalent kanna is the base of a number of other words in English, as well as giving us the name of the canna lily (mid 17th century), which gets its name from the shape of its leaves. Some reflect the use of the plants for making things, some their hollow stems. Canes (Middle English) are basically the same plant. Canister (Late Middle English) was originally a basket from Latin canistrum ‘basket for bread, fruit, or flowers’, from Greek kanastron ‘wicker basket’, from kanna. Canal (Late Middle English) and channel (Middle English) both come via French from Latin canalis ‘pipe, groove, channel’ from canna, and share a source with the Italian pasta cannelloni (mid 19th century). The medical cannula (late 17th century) was originally a ‘small reed’; a canyon (mid 19th century) is from Spanish cañón ‘tube’ from canna.

Words that rhyme with cannon

Buchanan, canon, colcannon, Louisianan, Montanan, Rhiannon, Shannon

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