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canopy

[kan-uh-pee] /ˈkæn ə pi/
noun, plural canopies.
1.
a covering, usually of fabric, supported on poles or suspended above a bed, throne, exalted personage, or sacred object.
2.
an overhanging projection or covering, as a long canvas awning stretching from the doorway of a building to a curb.
3.
an ornamental, rooflike projection or covering.
4.
Also called crown canopy, crown cover. the cover formed by the leafy upper branches of the trees in a forest.
5.
the sky.
6.
the part of a parachute that opens up and fills with air, usually made of nylon or silk.
7.
the transparent cover over the cockpit of an airplane.
verb (used with object), canopied, canopying.
8.
to cover with or as with a canopy:
Branches canopied the road.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English canope < Medieval Latin canōpēum, variant of Latin cōnōpēum mosquito net < Greek kōnōpeîon bed with net to keep gnats off, equivalent to kṓnōp(s) gnat + -eion, neuter of -eios adj. suffix
Related forms
supercanopy, noun, plural supercanopies.
uncanopied, adjective
Can be confused
canapé, canopy.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for canopy
  • The tree falls exactly where he wants it to, but on the way down it rips a branch from the overhanging canopy.
  • Their bright colors actually provide good camouflage in the dappled light of the rain forest canopy.
  • Phytoplankton make up the chlorophyll-bearing canopy at the base of the marine food web.
  • They can be found in cool, damp areas of deciduous forests, emerging before the tree canopy develops.
  • If you're looking for a source of shade, pick a tree with a wide canopy.
  • Lightweight spokes held in tension form a perfect, almost rigid canopy.
  • So, small trivial observations about the height of the rainforest canopy as useless.
  • The leaves of the upper canopy intercept raindrops and reduce their impact on vegetation and butterflies below.
  • From this vantage point, the luxuriant tapestry appears as thick as ancient rain-forest canopy.
  • Cuplike crowns above the canopy collect rainwater to keep the uppermost limbs hydrated.
British Dictionary definitions for canopy

canopy

/ˈkænəpɪ/
noun (pl) -pies
1.
an ornamental awning above a throne or bed or held over a person of importance on ceremonial occasions
2.
a rooflike covering over an altar, niche, etc
3.
a roofed structure serving as a sheltered passageway or area
4.
a large or wide covering, esp one high above: the sky was a grey canopy
5.
the nylon or silk hemisphere that forms the supporting surface of a parachute
6.
the transparent cover of an aircraft cockpit
7.
the highest level of branches and foliage in a forest, formed by the crowns of the trees
verb -pies, -pying, -pied
8.
(transitive) to cover with or as if with a canopy
Word Origin
C14: from Medieval Latin canōpeum mosquito net, from Latin cōnōpeum gauze net, from Greek kōnōpeion bed with protective net, from kōnōps mosquito
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for canopy
n.

late 14c., from Old French conope "bed-curtain" (Modern French canapé), from Medieval Latin canopeum, dissimilated from Latin conopeum, from Greek konopeion "Egyptian couch with mosquito curtains," from konops "mosquito, gnat," of unknown origin. The same word (canape) in French, Spanish, and Portuguese now means "sofa, couch." Italian canape is a French loan word.

v.

c.1600, from canopy (n.). Related: Canopied; canopying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for canopy

in architecture, a projecting hood or cover suspended over an altar, statue, or niche. It originally symbolized a divine and royal presence and was probably derived from the cosmic audience tent of the Achaemenian kings of Persia. In the Middle Ages it became a symbol of the divine presence in churches. During the 14th and 15th centuries, tombs, statues, and niches were overhung with richly decorated tabernacle work in stone, and these were reflected in delicate spiral wooden canopies over fonts.

Learn more about canopy with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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