- a gangrenous or ulcerous sore, especially in the mouth.
- a disease affecting horses' feet, usually the soles, characterized by a foul-smelling exudate.
- a defined area of diseased tissue, especially in woody stems.
- something that corrodes, corrupts, destroys, or irritates.
- Also called canker rose. British Dialect. dog rose.
- to infect with canker.
- to corrupt; destroy slowly.
- to become infected with or as if with canker.
Origin of canker
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for canker
It is very unworthy, I am afraid, but it is a canker that is eating my heart out.The Love Affairs of an Old Maid
I had rather be a canker in a hedge, than a rose in the grave.
The surface of the canker is black and rough and covered with minute black pimples.Apple Growing
M. C. Burritt
Canker was too much astonished by such directness to make any reply.Marion's Faith.
The cheer is renewed by Canker's men, yelling and hat waving at the heels of the herd.Under Fire
- an ulceration, esp of the lips or lining of the oral cavity
- vet science
- a disease of horses in which the horn of the hoofs becomes soft and spongy
- an inflammation of the lining of the external ear, esp in dogs and cats, resulting in a discharge and sometimes ulceration
- ulceration or abscess of the mouth, eyelids, ears, or cloaca of birds
- an open wound in the stem of a tree or shrub, caused by injury or parasites
- something evil that spreads and corrupts
- to infect or become infected with or as if with canker
Word Origin and History for canker
late Old English cancer "spreading ulcer, cancerous tumor," from Latin cancer "malignant tumor," literally "crab" (see cancer); influenced in Middle English by Old North French cancre "canker, sore, abscess" (Old French chancre, Modern French chancre). The word was the common one for "cancer" until c.1700. Also used since 15c. of caterpillars and insect larvae that eat plant buds and leaves. As a verb from late 14c. Related: Cankered; cankerous. Canker blossom is recorded from 1580s.
- Ulceration of the mouth and lips.
- An acute inflammation or infection of the ear and auditory canal, especially in dogs and cats.