CANON, eccl. law. This word is taken from the Greek, and signifies a rule or law. In ecelesiastical law, it is also used to designate an order of religious persons. Francis Duaren says, the reason why the ecclesiastics called the rules they established canons or rules, (canones id est regulas) and not laws, was modesty. They did not dare to call them (leges) laws, lest they should seem to arrogate to themselves the authority of princes and magistrates. De Sacris Ecclesiae Ministeriis, p. 2, in pref. See Law, Canon.