1

cancel

verb can·cel \ ˈkan(t)-səl \
Updated on: 17 Dec 2017

Definition of cancel

canceled or cancelled; canceling or cancelling play \-s(ə-)liŋ\
transitive verb
1 a : to call off usually without expectation of conducting or performing 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
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 : 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

cancelable

or cancellable play \-s(ə-)lə-bəl\ adjective

canceler

or canceller play \-s(ə-)lər\ noun

Examples of cancel in a Sentence

  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.

Recent Examples of cancel from the Web

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.

cancel my Subscription!

When we cancel an appointment we are making the decision to not keep that engagement, and when we cancel a check we are rendering that monetary slip of paper null and void. The early meanings of cancel had much more to do with the action taken for the check than that for the appointment. The word comes from a Latin noun, cancelli, meaning “lattice,” and originally referred to the crosshatched lines drawn across a written passage to signify that it should be deleted. By metaphorical extension, cancel in the sense “to remove or nullify” came to be applied to contracts, obligations and vows, mathematical quantities, checks, and all manner of other things (perhaps most familiarly nowadays, purchase orders and services).

Origin and Etymology 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


2

cancel

noun

Definition of cancel

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

Recent Examples of cancel from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of cancel

Other Postal Terms



CANCEL Defined for English Language Learners

cancel

verb

Definition of cancel for English Language Learners

  • : 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


CANCEL Defined for Kids

cancel

verb can·cel \ ˈkan-səl \

Definition of cancel for Students

canceled or cancelled; canceling or cancelling
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

Law Dictionary

cancel

transitive verb can·cel

legal Definition of cancel

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 draft
  • Uniform 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

or cancellable adjective


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