from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

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

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun 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.
  • noun 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.
  • noun That part of a bit let into the horse's mouth. Also canon, cannon-bit, canon-bit.
  • noun The cannon-bone.
  • noun The ear or loop of a bell by which it is suspended. Also spelled canon.
  • noun In surgery, an instrument used in sewing up wounds.
  • noun plural Ornamental rolls which terminated the breeches or hose at the knee. Minsheu, 1617. Also written canions, cannions, and canons.
  • noun [⟨ cannon, v., 2.] In billiards, a carom: little used in the United States, but common in Great Britain. See carom.
  • 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.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • (Billiards), engraving See carom.
  • noun A great gun; a piece of ordnance or artillery; a firearm for discharging heavy shot with great force.
  • noun (Mech.) A hollow cylindrical piece carried by a revolving shaft, on which it may, however, revolve independently.
  • noun (Printing.) A kind of type. See Canon.
  • noun strictly, a round solid missile of stone or iron made to be fired from a cannon, but now often applied to a missile of any shape, whether solid or hollow, made for cannon. Elongated and cylindrical missiles are sometimes called bolts; hollow ones charged with explosives are properly called shells.
  • noun [Obs.] a cannon ball.
  • noun a fire cracker of large size.
  • noun a device for firing a cannon by a percussion primer.
  • noun See Gun Metal.
  • noun the pinion on the minute hand arbor of a watch or clock, which drives the hand but permits it to be moved in setting.
  • noun impenetrable by cannon balls.
  • noun The range of a cannon.
  • intransitive verb To discharge cannon.
  • intransitive verb To collide or strike violently, esp. so as to glance off or rebound; to strike and rebound.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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

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

    November 1, 2007

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

    July 4, 2008