can·​cel·​la·​tion | \ˌkan(t)-sə-ˈlā-shən \
variants: or less commonly cancelation

Definition of cancellation 

1 : the act or an instance of canceling The cancellation of the game was due to bad weather.

2 : something (such as a hotel room or a ticket) made available by the canceling of an arrangement was lucky to get a cancellation for the trip to Chicago

3 : a mark made to cancel something (such as a postage stamp)

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Examples of cancellation in a Sentence

The storm caused delays and flight cancellations. Notice of cancellation should be given 30 days in advance. There is a fee for cancellation. Cancellations increased when rates doubled.
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Recent Examples on the Web

In 2010, the eruption of an Icelandic volcano caused the cancellation of over 100,000 flights, affecting about 10 million passengers. WSJ, "What Will Trigger the Next Crisis?," 7 Sep. 2018 House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi stopped short of calling for a cancellation. John Wagner,, "Lawmakers call on Trump to cancel summit with Putin," 13 July 2018 The rain may continue through Wednesday evening, so if your plans are outdoors, check for cancellations. Alyson Ward, Houston Chronicle, "Four things to know for the Fourth of July in Houston," 3 July 2018 There’s usually a wait list but call for cancellations. Tom Stienstra,, "Tom Stienstra: California’s 25 best cabins on golden ponds," 20 June 2018 Reasons for the cancellation Piacquadio has asked the town to reconsider its decision. Lauren Castle, azcentral, "Cave Creek cancels popular fireworks show over wildfire concerns; business leaders furious," 18 June 2018 Israel’s ambassador to Argentina, Ilan Sztulman, retweeted a message from Hamas, the militant group that rules Gaza, thanking Argentina for the cancellation. Daniel Politi, New York Times, "Argentina-Israel Soccer Game Canceled Over Playing in Jerusalem," 6 June 2018 In a series of tweets, Barr apologized to Goodman and actress Laurie Metcalf for the cancellation. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "Everything You Need to Know About the Rise and Fall of the 'Roseanne' Reboot," 1 June 2018 However, the settlement will lead to all parties petitioning for the cancellation of a trial that was expected to last four weeks. Michael Mccann,, "Why It Was the Smart Decision for Eli Manning to Settle in Memorabilia Fraud Lawsuit," 15 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cancellation.' 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 cancellation

1535, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cancellation

see cancel entry 1

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Statistics for cancellation

Last Updated

2 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cancellation

The first known use of cancellation was in 1535

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More Definitions for cancellation



Financial Definition of cancellation

What It Is

In the finance world, a cancellation is a notice informing a broker that a trade was made incorrectly. In the insurance world, a cancellation occurs when a policyholder stops paying the premium on an insurance policy and/or the insurance policy is no longer effective.

How It Works

Let's say Jane Smith calls her broker, John Doe, and tells him to buy 1,000 shares of Company XYZ. John puts the trade in, but gets a cancellation telling him that the floor accidentally bought 1,000 shares of Company X instead. John quickly puts in a new trade for Jane and then calls and tells her what happened. Because the price of Company XYZ rose about $0.25 before Jane could actually get her shares, John offers to make her whole on the trade.

In another example, let's say Peter Walker has a term life insurance policy that costs him $100 a month. He loses his job and can't afford to pay the premium anymore. In turn, the insurance company cancels the policy and Peter no longer has life insurance.

Why It Matters

Computerized trading has vastly improved the accuracy of trading in developed markets, but occasionally somebody types the wrong ticker symbol or transposes a number, causing a cancellation. Cancellations can be a sneaky way of covering up wrongdoing in an account, so they involve a considerable amount of paperwork and verification.

In insurance, cancellations may relieve a consumer of monthly premium payments, but they can also expose the consumer to considerable risk. In Peter's case, a lack of life insurance might mean that if he dies now, his children may have to sell his assets just to pay for his funeral and estate taxes if they are no longer the beneficiaries of his life insurance policy.

Source: Investing Answers



English Language Learners Definition of cancellation

: a decision to stop doing or planning to do something : the act of canceling something (such as a game, performance, etc.)

: the act of causing something to end or no longer produce a certain effect : a decision to stop something from being effective or valid


can·​cel·​la·​tion | \ˌkan-sə-ˈlā-shən \

Kids Definition of cancellation

1 : an act of causing something to end or no longer be in effect cancellation of a game

2 : a mark that makes something impossible to use again the cancellation on a postage stamp

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variants: also cancelation

Legal Definition of cancellation 

1 : the act or an instance of cancelling

2 : a mark made to cancel something (as a check)

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Comments on cancellation

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