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Last modified: Tuesday, March 23, 2004 

(adj.) Authoritative or standard; conforming to an accepted rule or procedure.

When referring to programming, canonical means conforming to well-established patterns or rules. The term is typically used to describe whether or not a programming interface follows the already established standard.

When referring to IP addressing, canonical means the authoritative host name stored in a DNS database that all of an IP address’ aliases resolve to. Also see CNAME.

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