c. 1400, "artillery piece, mounted gun for throwing projectiles by force of gunpowder," from Anglo-French canon (mid-14c.), Old French canon (14c.), from Italian cannone "large tube, barrel," augmentative of Latin canna "reed, tube" (see cane (n.)). The double -n- spelling to differentiate it from canon is from c. 1800. Cannon fodder (1847) translates German kanonenfutter (compare Shakespeare's food for powder in "I Hen. IV").
updated on September 24, 2019
Dictionary entries near cannon