verb (used with object), can·celed, can·cel·ing or (especially British) can·celled, can·cel·ling.
- 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.
verb (used without object), can·celed, can·cel·ing or (especially British) can·celled, can·cel·ling.
- a replacement for an omitted part.
- canby, henry seidel,
- cancel out,
- canceled check,
Origin of cancel
verb -cels, -celling or -celled or US -cels, -celing or -celed (mainly tr)
- 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 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.
Neutralize the effect of, offset, render void. For example, Anne's kindness to her neighbor could not cancel out her irritability. The verb cancel was used in this way by itself from the late 1400s; out was added in the early 1900s.