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Syllabification: can·non
Pronunciation: /ˈkanən

Definition of cannon in English:


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.


[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.


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

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