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verb can·cel \ˈkan(t)-səl\

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. transitive verb
  2. 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. 2 a :  to mark or strike out for deletion b :  omit, delete

  4. 3 a :  to remove (a common divisor) from numerator and denominator b :  to remove (equivalents) on opposite sides of an equation or account

  5. 4 :  to deface (a postage or revenue stamp) especially with a set of ink lines so as to invalidate for reuse

  6. intransitive verb
  7. :  to neutralize each other's strength or effect :  counterbalance

can·cel·able or can·cel·la·ble play \-s(ə-)lə-bəl\ adjective
can·cel·er or can·cel·ler play \-s(ə-)lər\ noun

Examples of cancel

  1. The event was canceled at the last minute when the speaker didn't show up.

  2. We canceled our dinner reservation.

  3. My flight was canceled because of the storm.

  4. She canceled her appointment with the dentist.

  5. I'm sorry, but I have to cancel. Can we meet next week?

  6. He canceled his insurance policy last month.

  7. We canceled our magazine subscription when we moved.

  8. The bank canceled my credit card.

  9. 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



noun can·cel

Definition of cancel

  1. 1 :  cancellation

  2. 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


Other Postal Terms

Rhymes with cancel

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February 14, 2016

to hug and kiss another person

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