- to make void; revoke; annul: to cancel a reservation.
- to decide or announce that a planned event will not take place; call off: to cancel a meeting.
- to mark or perforate (a postage stamp, admission ticket, etc.) so as to render invalid for reuse.
- to neutralize; counterbalance; compensate for: His sincere apology canceled his sarcastic remark.
- to close (an account) by crediting or paying all outstanding charges: He plans to cancel his account at the department store.
- to eliminate or offset (a debit, credit, etc.) with an entry for an equal amount on the opposite side of a ledger, as when a payment is received on a debt.
- Mathematics. to eliminate by striking out a factor common to both the denominator and numerator of a fraction, equivalent terms on opposite sides of an equation, etc.
- to cross out (words, letters, etc.) by drawing a line over the item.
- Printing. to omit.
- to counterbalance or compensate for one another; become neutralized (often followed by out): The pros and cons cancel out.
- Mathematics. (of factors common to both the denominator and numerator of a fraction, certain terms on opposite sides of an equation, etc.) to be equivalent; to allow cancellation.
- an act of canceling.
- Printing, Bookbinding.
- a replacement for an omitted part.
Origin of cancel
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for cancelling
Eating out less, cancelling cable, running the old car a while longer.How Are You Saving?
March 8, 2013
Friends of mine this week were cancelling trips to the U.S. from Beijing, worried about “unsafe” American airports.Is the U.S. Prepared for a Flu Pandemic?
Joshua Cooper Ramo
May 2, 2009
So, although we will be cancelling the party on December 1st at Nobu 57, you are very much in our hearts….Google, Marc Jacobs, and Other Casualties of the Christmas Party Recession
November 19, 2008
I went to my office to get my letters, and every blessed one was cancelling an order.Changing Winds
St. John G. Ervine
Phil manfully works for a year cancelling his father's debt, and then escapes.Breaking Away
Phil manfully works for a year, cancelling his father's debt, and then escapes.Four Young Explorers
But in the judgment of literature the process of "cancelling" does not exist.A History of the French Novel, Vol. 1
Under the circumstances I feel justified in cancelling our agreement.Frank of Freedom Hill
Samuel A. Derieux
- to order (something already arranged, such as a meeting or event) to be postponed indefinitely; call off
- to revoke or annulthe order for the new television set was cancelled
- to delete (writing, numbers, etc); cross outhe cancelled his name and substituted hers
- to mark (a cheque, postage stamp, ticket, etc) with an official stamp or by a perforation to prevent further use
- (also intr usually foll by out) to counterbalance; make up for (a deficiency, etc)his generosity cancelled out his past unkindness
- to close (an account) by discharging any outstanding debts
- (sometimes foll by out) accountingto eliminate (a debit or credit) by making an offsetting entry on the opposite side of the account
- to eliminate (numbers, quantities, or terms) as common factors from both the numerator and denominator of a fraction or as equal terms from opposite sides of an equation
- (intr)to be able to be eliminated in this way
Word Origin and History for cancelling
late 14c., "cross out with lines," from Anglo-French canceler, from Latin cancellare "to make resemble a lattice," which in Late Latin took on a sense "cross out something written" by marking it with crossed lines, from cancelli, plural of cancellus "lattice, grating," diminutive of cancer "crossed bars, lattice," a variant of carcer "prison" (see incarceration). Figurative use, "to nullify an obligation" is from mid-15c. Related: Canceled (also cancelled); cancelling.