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Canonical may refer to:

Science and technology[edit]

  • Canonical form, a natural unique representation of an object, or a preferred notation for some object


  • Canonical coordinates, sets of coordinates that can be used to describe a physical system at any given point in time
  • Canonical map, a morphism that is uniquely defined by its main property
  • Canonical polyhedron, a polyhedron whose edges are all tangent to a common sphere, whose center is the average of its vertices
  • Canonical ring, a graded ring associated to an algebraic variety
  • Canonical representative, in set theory a standard member of each element of a set partition

Differential geometry[edit]



  • Canonical Huffman code, a particular type of Huffman code with unique properties which allow it to be described in a very compact manner
  • Canonical link element, an HTML element that helps webmasters prevent duplicate content issues by specifying the “canonical” or “preferred” version
  • Canonical model, a design pattern used to communicate between different data formats
  • Canonical name record (CNAME record), a type of Domain Name System record
  • Canonical S-expressions, a binary encoding form of a subset of general S-expression
  • Canonical XML, a normal form of XML, intended to allow relatively simple comparison of pairs of XML documents
  • MAC address (formerly canonical number), a unique identifier assigned to network interfaces for communications on the physical network segment


  • Canonical form (chemistry), any of a set of representations of the resonance structure of a molecule each of which contributes to the real structure


  • Canon law of the Catholic Church, the system of laws and legal principles made and enforced by the hierarchical authorities of the Catholic Church
  • Canonical coronation, an institutional act of the pope to legally crown images venerated by the faithful through a papal bull
  • Canonical hours, the divisions of the day in terms of periods of fixed prayer at regular intervals.
  • Biblical canon
    • Canonical gospel, the four gospels accepted as part of the New Testament
    • Canonical criticism, a way of interpreting the Bible that focuses on the text of the biblical canon itself as a finished product
  • The scriptures of the Pāli Canon, of Theravāda Buddhism (these include the Sutta Pitaka, the Vinaya Pitaka and the Abhidhamma Pitaka)

Other uses[edit]

See also[edit]