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as in:  a canonical requirement

Their actions violate the canon of proportional response.
  an official or established rule or principle; or a collection of such rules or principles (often in reference to rules or principles of a church)
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canon canons canonical
Historically, a canon was a church law.

Do not confuse canon with cannon (a large gun).

Canon has many reasonably common, but highly diverse senses. Accordingly, it is generally recommended that you just learn the sense (or senses) that currently interest you.
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  • Their actions violate the canon of proportional response.
  • It is the canonical subjection in the full force of its abnegation.
    Victor Hugo  --  Les Miserables
  • There was no canonical version.
    Homer  --  The Odyssey
  • The sprinkling, and, indeed, the immersion of adults is a perfectly canonical practice.
    Oscar Wilde  --  The Importance of Being Earnest

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  • But let’s think in terms of slightly more canonical sources.
    Thomas C. Foster  --  How to Read Literature Like a Professor
  • In seven canonical words, she exhorts, cajoles, commands someone—herself?
    Joy Kogawa  --  Obasan
  • Virgil’s achievement quickly became canonical itself and ensured that the European epic tradition would ground itself on the authority and practice of Homer.
    Homer  --  The Iliad
  • It may be the office has helped to cover some of his canonical irregularities.
    Sir Walter Scott  --  Ivanhoe
  • Thus, at sixteen years of age, the young clerk might have held his own, in mystical theology, against a father of the church; in canonical theology, against a father of the councils; in scholastic theology, against a doctor of Sorbonne.
    Victor Hugo  --  The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • The drinking of the cocktails was as canonical a rite as the mixing.
    Sinclair Lewis  --  Babbitt

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  • Six was the rigid, the canonical supper-hour, but at half-past six he had not come.
    Sinclair Lewis  --  Main Street
  • Governor of his native province, learned in astronomy, in astrology and in the tireless interpretation of the canonical books, chess player, famous poet and calligrapher—he abandoned all this in order to compose a book and a maze.
    Jorge Luis Borges  --  The Garden of Forking Paths
  • By means of ejaculations and prayers he stored up ungrudgingly for the souls in purgatory centuries of days and quarantines and years; yet the spiritual triumph which he felt in achieving with ease so many fabulous ages of canonical penances did not wholly reward his zeal of prayer, since he could never know how much temporal punishment he had remitted by way of suffrage for the agonizing souls; and fearful lest in the midst of the purgatorial fire, which differed from the infernal…
    James Joyce  --  A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
  • Does he consider this pamphlet of Mr. Paine’s as a canonical book of political scripture?
    David McCullough  --  John Adams
  • At the seventh canonical hour, at one in the morning by the clock, a dark low sweet humming drifted from the deepest of the monastery bells, which hardly stirred.
    Boris Pasternak  --  Doctor Zhivago
  • Such rights, Settembrini remarked cuttingly, were probably not maintained without a sidelong glance at the "canonical share," which had to be subtracted from every will.
    Thomas Mann  --  The Magic Mountain
  • Academies and minor edifices of learning meet the eye of the stranger at every few miles as be winds his way through this uneven territory, and places for the worship of God abound with that frequency which characterize a moral and reflecting people, and with that variety of exterior and canonical government which flows from unfettered liberty of conscience.
    James Fenimore Cooper  --  The Pioneers
  • Have you any canonical authority for assuming that there is any barrier between our circle and the other one?
    George Bernard Shaw  --  Man And Superman
  • …) Stun, which are regarded as direct divine revelation; these include the four Vedas (ancient books of psalms) and certain of the Upanisacis (ancient books of philosophy); (a) Smrti, which include the traditional teachings of the orthodox sages, canonical instructions for domestic ceremonials, and certain works of secular and religious law, as well as the great Hindu epic, the Mahabharata, which of course includes the Bhagavad Gita; (3) Purana, which are the Hindu mythological and epic…
    Joseph Campbell  --  The Hero With a Thousand Faces
  • This being America and not France, there is no academy that actually sets a list of canonical texts.
    Thomas C. Foster  --  How to Read Literature Like a Professor
  • They were in shirt sleeves; smoking, chewing, spitting incessantly; lowering their voices for a moment so that she did not hear what they said and afterward giggling hoarsely; using over and over the canonical phrases: "Three to dole,"
    Sinclair Lewis  --  Main Street
  • And also exactly what would be complained of in all the literature which is great enough and old enough to have attained canonical rank, officially or unofficially, were it not that books are admitted to the canon by a compact which confesses their greatness in consideration of abrogating their meaning; so that the reverend rector can agree with the prophet Micah as to his inspired style without being committed to any complicity in Micah’s furiously Radical opinions.
    George Bernard Shaw  --  Man And Superman
  • She cried to the party, with the canonical amount of sprightliness, "Good-by, everybody.
    Sinclair Lewis  --  Main Street
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Associated words [difficulty]:   canon [5]
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Most commonly used in these subjects:   Religion - Christianity, Religion & Spirtuality, Fine Arts & Music, Logic & Reasoning
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