What are the meaning, origin and usage of word ‘Canon’?

(Pronounced kan.uhn)

Meaning: A noun, canon refers to a generally accepted rule or principle by which something is judged. This 'canon' is spelt with one 'n' in the middle, whereas 'cannon' refers to a large artillery gun.

Origin: The term canon was derived from the Hebrew-Greek word kanon meaning "cane or measuring rod." It entered Old English from Old French or Late Latin canon meaning "church rule." The use of the word "canon" is said to have originated in reference to a set of Biblical texts regarded as scripture. The sense of the term as "a rule or principle" has been in use since the late 14th Century, and as a "standard of judging" since the 17th Century.

Usage: The recent actions by Russia violate all canons of international law, experts say.

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