from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A large mounted weapon that fires heavy projectiles. Cannon include guns, howitzers, and mortars.
  • n. The loop at the top of a bell by which it is hung.
  • n. A round bit for a horse.
  • n. Zoology The section of the lower leg in some hoofed mammals between the hock or knee and the fetlock, containing the cannon bone.
  • n. Chiefly British A carom made in billiards.
  • transitive v. To bombard with cannon.
  • transitive v. Chiefly British To cause to carom in billiards.
  • intransitive v. To fire cannon.
  • intransitive v. Chiefly British To make a carom in billiards.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A large-bore machine gun.
  • n. A bone of a horse's leg, between the fetlock joint and the knee or hock.
  • n. A large muzzle-loading artillery piece.
  • n. A carom.
  • n. The arm of a player that can throw well.
  • v. To bombard with cannons
  • v. To play the carom billiard shot. To strike two balls with the cue ball
  • v. To fire something, especially spherical, rapidly.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A great gun; a piece of ordnance or artillery; a firearm for discharging heavy shot with great force.
  • n. A hollow cylindrical piece carried by a revolving shaft, on which it may, however, revolve independently.
  • n. A kind of type. See Canon.
  • See carom.
  • intransitive v. To discharge cannon.
  • intransitive v. To collide or strike violently, esp. so as to glance off or rebound; to strike and rebound.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To discharge cannon; cannonade.
  • In billiards, to make a cannon or carom; hence, to strike one thing and then rebound and strike another; carom.
  • In loading logs by steam- or horse-power, to send up (a log) so that it swings crosswise, instead of parallel to the load.
  • n. An engine, supported on a stationary or movable frame called a gun-carriage, for throwing balls and other missiles by the force of gunpowder; a big gun; a piece of ordnance.
  • n. In machinery, a hollow cylindrical piece through which a revolving shaft passes, and which, may revolve independently, and with a greater or less speed than that of the shaft.
  • n. That part of a bit let into the horse's mouth. Also canon, cannon-bit, canon-bit.
  • n. The cannon-bone.
  • n. The ear or loop of a bell by which it is suspended. Also spelled canon.
  • n. In surgery, an instrument used in sewing up wounds.
  • n. plural Ornamental rolls which terminated the breeches or hose at the knee. Minsheu, 1617. Also written canions, cannions, and canons.
  • n. [⟨ cannon, v., 2.] In billiards, a carom: little used in the United States, but common in Great Britain. See carom.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. heavy gun fired from a tank
  • n. lower part of the leg extending from the hock to the fetlock in hoofed mammals
  • v. fire a cannon
  • n. a shot in billiards in which the cue ball contacts one object ball and then the other
  • n. heavy automatic gun fired from an airplane
  • n. (Middle Ages) a cylindrical piece of armor plate to protect the arm
  • n. a large artillery gun that is usually on wheels
  • v. make a cannon


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English canon, from Old French, from Old Italian cannone, augmentative of canna, tube, from Latin, reed; see cane.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Origin circa 1400 A.D. from Old French canon, from Italian cannone, from Latin canna.



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  • Citation (in the sense of part of a horse's leg) on withers.

    July 4, 2008

  • People who spell this "canon" need to be dragged out in the street and shot. ;)

    November 1, 2007

  • Captured at Yorktown and Gloucester, "60 pieces brass cannon, 150 iron ditto (meaning "the same")," as well as "70 barrels powder" (meaning gunpowder) and 80 ships. This, the newspaper notes, is just the beginning of the list: "Remainder not come to hand." (Salem, Mass. Gazette, November 15, 1781)

    October 29, 2007