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See also: Cancel



Alternative formsEdit


From Middle English cancellen, from Anglo-Norman canceler (to cross out with lines), from Latin cancellare (to make resemble a lattice), from cancelli (a railing or lattice), diminutive of cancer (a lattice).


  • IPA(key): /ˈkænsl/
  • (file)


cancel (third-person singular simple present cancels, present participle cancelling or (US) canceling, simple past and past participle cancelled or (US) canceled)

  1. (transitive) To cross out something with lines etc.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Blackstone
      A deed may be avoided by delivering it up to be cancelled; that is, to have lines drawn over it in the form of latticework or cancelli; the phrase is now used figuratively for any manner of obliterating or defacing it.
  2. (transitive) To invalidate or annul something.
    He cancelled his order on their website.
    • 1914, Marjorie Benton Cooke, Bambi
      "I don't know what your agreement was, Herr Professor, but if it had money in it, cancel it. I want him to learn that lesson, too."
  3. (transitive) To mark something (such as a used postage stamp) so that it can't be reused.
    This machine cancels the letters that have a valid zip code.
  4. (transitive) To offset or equalize something.
    The corrective feedback mechanism cancels out the noise.
  5. (transitive, mathematics) To remove a common factor from both the numerator and denominator of a fraction, or from both sides of an equation.
  6. (transitive, media) To stop production of a programme.
  7. (printing, dated) To suppress or omit; to strike out, as matter in type.
  8. (obsolete) To shut out, as with a railing or with latticework; to exclude.
  9. (slang) To kill.


Derived termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


cancel (plural cancels)

  1. A cancellation (US); (nonstandard in some kinds of English).
    1. (Internet) A control message posted to Usenet that serves to cancel a previously posted message.
  2. (obsolete) An enclosure; a boundary; a limit.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Jeremy Taylor
      A prison is but a retirement, and opportunity of serious thoughts, to a person whose spirit [] desires no enlargement beyond the cancels of the body.
  3. (printing) The suppression on striking out of matter in type, or of a printed page or pages.
  4. (printing) The page thus suppressed.
  5. (printing) The page that replaces it.

Derived termsEdit


Related termsEdit

Further readingEdit