cancel

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

Essential Meaning of cancel

1 : to stop doing or planning to do (something) : to decide that something (such as a game, performance, etc.) will not happen The event was canceled at the last minute when the speaker didn't show up. We canceled our dinner reservation. See More ExamplesMy 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?Hide
2 : to cause (something) to end or no longer produce a certain effect : to stop (something) from being effective or valid He canceled his insurance policy last month. We canceled our magazine subscription when we moved. See More ExamplesPlease cancel my order. The bank canceled my credit card. If you subscribe online, you can cancel at any time.Hide
3 : to put a mark with a set of ink lines on something (such as a stamp) so that it cannot be used again a canceled stamp

Full Definition of cancel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : 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 kindness— Osbert 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
3a : to remove (a common divisor) from numerator and denominator
b : to remove (equivalents) on opposite sides of an equation or account
4a : to mark or strike out for deletion cancel the offensive passage
b : omit, delete

intransitive verb

: to neutralize each other's strength or effect : counterbalance the various pressure groups to a large degree canceled out— J. B. Conant

cancel

noun

Definition of cancel (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : cancellation an order quickly followed by a cancel
2a : 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

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Other Words from cancel

Verb

cancelable or cancellable \ ˈkan(t)-​s(ə-​)lə-​bəl How to pronounce cancel (audio) \ adjective
canceler or canceller \ ˈkan(t)-​s(ə-​)lər How to pronounce cancel (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for cancel

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Frequently Asked Questions About cancel

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Forty-two percent are likely to cancel plans and not reschedule them. David Lyons, sun-sentinel.com, 8 Sep. 2021 Some of the world’s largest broadcasters including American network NBC are being asked by human rights groups to cancel plans to cover next year's Winter Olympics in Beijing. Stephen Wade, ajc, 8 Sep. 2021 Some of the world’s largest broadcasters, including American network NBC, are being asked by human rights groups to cancel plans to cover next year’s Winter Olympics in Beijing. San Francisco Chronicle, 7 Sep. 2021 Even with mask mandates for both indoor and outdoor public events where social distancing is not possible, continued risk to audiences, attendees, and staff have caused some organizations to adjust and even cancel their plans. oregonlive, 25 Aug. 2021 What should people consider when deciding whether to continue, change or cancel their travel plans? Katia Hetter, CNN, 12 Aug. 2021 The company was grounded during a two-day Biden trip to Rehoboth in early June, and Dolan imagined having to call even more customers this time to cancel their 12,000-feet jumps overlooking the scenic Atlantic coast. Jeff Barker, baltimoresun.com, 9 Aug. 2021 To cancel a subscription, please call customer service during normal business hours to speak with a representative. Jeremy Hallock, Dallas News, 9 Aug. 2021 Earlier in the pandemic, airlines saw that bad headlines about the coronavirus would prompt large numbers of people to cancel trips. David Koenig, USA TODAY, 22 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Dreher’s Hungary foray, and Carlson’s, served as an invitation for conservatives to take their own loose talk about soft totalitarianism and the oppressiveness of cancel culture literally and to consider post-liberal political models. The New Yorker, 13 Sep. 2021 Standing with these men by his side, in front of a replica of his childhood home, with a glowing cross lighting the stage, West seemed to be painting a picture of the theatrics surrounding cancel culture. Bianca Betancourt, Harper's BAZAAR, 30 Aug. 2021 Soon enough the beleaguered department chair becomes another misunderstood cancel-culture target. Michael Phillips, chicagotribune.com, 26 Aug. 2021 There has been a conversation about comedians, in this age of cancel culture. Elizabeth Wagmeister, Variety, 24 Aug. 2021 McKay’s tenure case is absorbing drama, making better use of the campus setting than Dobson’s brush with cancel culture. Hua Hsu, The New Yorker, 23 Aug. 2021 But this core value is under threat today, with many Americans self-censoring and silencing themselves due to the rampant cancel-culture epidemic and other forms of discrimination based on ideology. Samuel J. Abrams, National Review, 16 Aug. 2021 Maybe Lake is trying to compete in the ongoing Republican contest to get banned from Twitter for misleading tweets (hello, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene) and then complain about cancel culture to rile up supporters. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, 15 Aug. 2021 And in this hugely entertaining episode, the fake courtroom grants itself the freedom to adjudicate cancel culture, which is notably something that the culture itself cannot do. Scott Tobias, Vulture, 13 Aug. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cancel.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cancel

Verb

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

Noun

1806, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cancel

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

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Time Traveler for cancel

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near cancel

cancan

cancel

cancel culture

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Statistics for cancel

Last Updated

17 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cancel.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cancel. Accessed 20 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for cancel

cancel

verb
can·​cel | \ ˈkan-səl How to pronounce cancel (audio) \
canceled or cancelled; canceling or cancelling

Kids Definition of cancel

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

cancel

transitive verb
can·​cel
canceled or cancelled; canceling or cancelling

Legal Definition of cancel

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

Other Words from cancel

cancelable or cancellable adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on cancel

Nglish: Translation of cancel for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cancel for Arabic Speakers

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