cancel

1 of 2

verb

can·​cel ˈkan(t)-səl How to pronounce cancel (audio)
canceled or cancelled; canceling or cancelling ˈkan(t)-s(ə-)liŋ How to pronounce cancel (audio) ; cancels

transitive verb

1
a
: to decide not to conduct or perform (something planned or expected) usually without expectation of conducting or performing it at a later time
cancel a football game
b
: to destroy the force, effectiveness, or validity of : annul
cancel a magazine subscription
a canceled check
c
: to match in force or effect : offset
often used with out
his irritability canceled out his natural kindnessOsbert Sitwell
d
: to bring to nothingness : destroy
e
: to withdraw one's support for (someone, such as a celebrity, or something, such as a company) publicly and especially on social media
… the internet has canceled her over her alleged anti-black and homophobic past.Angie Dare
see also cancel culture
2
: to deface (a postage or revenue stamp) especially with a set of ink lines so as to invalidate for reuse
3
a
: to remove (a common divisor) from numerator and denominator
b
: to remove (equivalents) on opposite sides of an equation or account
4
a
: to mark or strike out for deletion
cancel the offensive passage
b

intransitive verb

: to neutralize each other's strength or effect : counterbalance
the various pressure groups to a large degree canceled outJ. B. Conant
cancelable adjective
or cancellable
canceler noun
or canceller

cancel

2 of 2

noun

1
: cancellation
an order quickly followed by a cancel
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

Frequently Asked Questions

What does it mean to cancel someone?

To cancel someone is to stop supporting them or their work. This means no longer reading what they write, listening to or watching what they create, or enjoying what they produce.

Is it cancelled or canceled?

The forms of cancel in American English are typically canceled and canceling; in British English they are cancelled and cancelling. Cancellation is the usual spelling everywhere, though cancelation is also sometimes used.

What does cancellable mean?

The word cancellable (which is also but less commonly spelled cancelable) describes something, such as a contract or policy, that can be canceled—that is, that can be made no longer valid or effective.

Examples of cancel in a Sentence

Verb 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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
The celebration comes just a couple weeks after the three-time Grammy winner was forced to cancel her concert in Bern, Switzerland, due to health issues. Hannah Dailey, Billboard, 17 July 2024 Monday's show was canceled, and Tuesday's was filmed in New York. Raechal Shewfelt, EW.com, 17 July 2024
Noun
Reducing churn is always top of mind for streamers, so Disney+’s focus on exclusive content, in theory, keep audiences from hitting the cancel button by providing more value for the subscription. Adrienne Gibbs, Forbes, 30 Nov. 2023 Netflix cancelations were also up in June, while the ratio of gross additions to cancels for the service reached its highest level since early in the COVID lockdowns in April 2020, according to Antenna. Todd Spangler, Variety, 18 July 2023 See all Example Sentences for cancel 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cancel.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb and Noun

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

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1b

Noun

1803, in the meaning defined at sense 2b(1)

Time Traveler
The first known use of cancel was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near cancel

Cite this Entry

“Cancel.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cancel. Accessed 23 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

cancel

verb
can·​cel
ˈkan(t)-səl
canceled or cancelled; canceling or cancelling
-s(ə-)liŋ
1
: to cross out or strike out with a line : delete
2
a
: to destroy the force or effectiveness of
cancel an order
cancel an appointment
b
: to match in force or effect : offset entry 2
cancelled each other out
3
a
: to divide a numerator and denominator by the same number
b
: to remove something equivalent from both sides of an equation or account
4
: to mark a postage stamp or check so that it cannot be reused
canceler noun
or canceller
-s(ə-)lər

Legal Definition

cancel

transitive verb
can·​cel
canceled or cancelled; canceling or cancelling
1
: to destroy the force, validity, or effectiveness of: as
a
: to render (one's will or a provision in one's will) ineffective by purposely making marks through or otherwise marring the text of compare revoke

Note: The text of the will or of the will's provision need not be rendered illegible in order for a court to find that there was an intent to cancel it.

b
: to make (a negotiable instrument) unenforceable especially by purposely marking through or otherwise marring the words or signature of

Note: As stated in section 3-604 of the Uniform Commercial Code, a party that is entitled to enforce a negotiable instrument may cancel the instrument, whether or not for consideration, and discharge the obligation of the other party to pay.

c
: to mark (a check) to indicate that payment has been made by the bank

Note: A check is no longer negotiable once it has been cancelled.

d
: to withdraw an agreement to honor (a letter of credit)
when an issuer wrongfully cancels or otherwise repudiates a credit before presentment of a draftUniform Commercial Code
2
: to put an end to (a contract): as
a
: to end (a contract) by discharging the other party from obligations as yet unperformed
b
: to end (a contract) in accordance with the provisions of U.C.C. section 2-106 or a similar statute because the other party has breached compare rescind, terminate

Note: Section 2-106 provides that a party that cancels a contract because of the other party's breach is entitled to seek remedies for breach of all or part of the contract.

c
: to put an end to (a lease contract) because of the default of the other party

Note: Under U.C.C. section 2A-505, a party that cancels because of the other party's default may seek remedies for the default of all or any unperformed part of the lease contract.

3
: to terminate (an insurance policy) before the end of the policy period usually as allowed by policy provisions
cancelable adjective
or cancellable

More from Merriam-Webster on cancel

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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