- 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 for cancel on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for cancel
Did he participate in his own extortion and cancel his plans for a big Christmas premiere?Should the U.S. Really Pay a Kim’s Ransom?
December 21, 2014
My family is ready to mount an intervention, and cancel my streaming accounts.The Best Albums of 2014
December 13, 2014
Should we cancel gatherings, reunions, excursions, or throw ourselves into them with even more gratitude for one another?The Media's Pro-Torture Cheerleaders
December 10, 2014
Presumably, without those subsidies, most will just cancel their policies.The GOP Could Make Obama Kill Obamacare
November 10, 2014
In a statement, the MoD admitted that it had been forced to cancel the rest of the training program.Libyan Troops Go Wild in England
November 4, 2014
I cancel the oath now, for the knowledge of it should survive his life and mine.Alice, or The Mysteries, Complete
Nobody seems to know what to do, so they just sit down and cancel everything.Changing Winds
St. John G. Ervine
The money-order I am enclosing with this, will cancel the note, but not the many debts, I owe you.The Book of Khalid
If he can find me another tenant, whom I consider suitable, I may cancel the agreement.Howards End
E. M. Forster
Refuse us that, and you cancel the articles; cancel the articles, and you cancel our services with them.Captain Blood
- 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 cancel
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.