Simple Definition of cancel
: to stop doing or planning to do (something) : to decide that something (such as a game, performance, etc.) will not happen
: to cause (something) to end or no longer produce a certain effect : to stop (something) from being effective or valid
: to put a mark with a set of ink lines on something (such as a stamp) so that it cannot be used again
Full Definition of cancel
can·celed or can·celledcan·cel·ing or can·cel·lingplay \-s(ə-)liŋ\
1 a : to destroy the force, effectiveness, or validity of : annul <cancel a magazine subscription> <a canceled check> b : to bring to nothingness : destroy c : to match in force or effect : offset —often used with out <his irritability canceled out his natural kindness — Osbert Sitwell> d : to call off usually without expectation of conducting or performing at a later time <cancel a football game>
3 a : to remove (a common divisor) from numerator and denominator b : to remove (equivalents) on opposite sides of an equation or account
4 : to deface (a postage or revenue stamp) especially with a set of ink lines so as to invalidate for reuse
: to neutralize each other's strength or effect : counterbalance
Examples of cancel
The event was canceled at the last minute when the speaker didn't show up.
We canceled our dinner reservation.
My flight was canceled because of the storm.
She canceled her appointment with the dentist.
I'm sorry, but I have to cancel. Can we meet next week?
He canceled his insurance policy last month.
We canceled our magazine subscription when we moved.
The bank canceled my credit card.
If you subscribe online, you can cancel at any time.
Origin of cancel
Middle English cancellen, from Anglo-French canceller, chanceller, from Late Latin cancellare, from Latin, to make like a lattice, from cancelli (plural), diminutive of cancer lattice, probably alteration of carcer prison
First Known Use: 14th century
Definition of cancel
1 : cancellation
2 a : a deleted part or passage b (1) : a leaf containing matter to be deleted (2) : a new leaf or slip substituted for matter already printed
First Known Use of cancel
Rhymes with cancel
CANCEL Defined for Kids
Definition of cancel
can·celed or can·celledcan·cel·ing or can·cel·ling
1 : to take back : stop from being in effect <She canceled the order.>
2 : to cause to not happen <I hoped for anything that could cancel the dance. — Ann M. Martin, Baby-sitters' Winter Vacation>
3 : to be equal in force or importance but have opposite effect <The disadvantages of the plan canceled out the advantages.>
4 : to remove (a common divisor) from numerator and denominator : remove (equivalents) on opposite sides of an equation
5 : to cross out or strike out with a line <He canceled what he had written.>
6 : to mark (as a postage stamp) so as to make impossible to use again
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up cancel? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).