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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The adjective canonical is applied in many contexts to mean 'according to the canon' – the standard, rule or primary source that is accepted as authoritative for the body of knowledge or literature in that context. In mathematics, canonical example is often used to mean 'archetype'.

Science and technology[edit]

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


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
  • Canonicalization, a process for converting data to canonical form


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


  • 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.
  • Canonical law, a set of ordinances and regulations governing a Christian church or community
  • Canonical texts or biblical canon, the texts accepted as part of the Bible
    • 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


  • Canonical Ltd., software company that develops the Ubuntu operating system

See also[edit]