Definition of canonize in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkanənʌɪz/
(also 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
More example sentences
  • Judaism does not canonize people as saints nor does it demand the performance of miracles from its heroes.
  • Eventually, because of her contributions, she was canonized as a saint by the church.
  • 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.
beatify, declare to be a saint
1.1Regard as being above reproach or of great significance: we have canonized freedom of speech as an absolute value overriding all others
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • Some history books have canonized people who have ravaged the rich and shared the treasure with the poor.
  • 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.
2Sanction by Church authority.
Example sentences
  • 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.
  • Scripture was vetted and canonized, and a creed adopted and reaffirmed against those who would challenge, alter, or undermine it.



Pronunciation: /kanənʌɪˈzeɪʃ(ə)n/
Example sentences
  • Pope John's canonization should help to illuminate the constants in his spiritual journey.
  • This campaign has caused dismay to many Catholic historians, especially in view of the fact that the canonization of a saint may be viewed as an authoritative, if not quasi-infallible, papal act.
  • From the moment of his death and canonization two years later, the saga of Francis of Assisi has been retold and reshaped.


Late Middle English: from late Latin canonizare 'admit as authoritative' (in medieval Latin 'admit to the list of recognized saints'), from Latin canon (see canon1).

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