[ kan-suhl ]
/ ˈkæn səl /
verb (used with object), can·celed, can·cel·ing or (especially British) can·celled, can·cel·ling.
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.
verb (used without object), can·celed, can·cel·ing or (especially British) can·celled, can·cel·ling.
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.
- a replacement for an omitted part.
Why Are People Getting “Canceled”?It’s a bit disconcerting that we’re canceling people because in many ways it’s dehumanizing. So, why are we using it?
Origin of cancel
1350–1400; Middle English cancellen < Medieval Latin cancellāre to cross out, Latin: to make like a lattice, derivative of cancellī grating, plural of cancellus; see cancellus
can·cel·a·ble; especially British, can·cel·la·ble, adjectivecan·cel·er; especially British, can·cel·ler, nounre·can·cel, verb (used with object), re·can·celed, re·can·cel·ing or (especially British) re·can·celled, re·can·cel·ling.self-can·celed, adjective
self-can·celled, adjectiveun·can·cel·a·ble, adjectiveun·can·celed, adjectiveun·can·cel·la·ble, adjectiveun·can·celled, adjective
3, 7. Cancel, delete, erase, obliterate indicate that something is no longer to be considered usable or in force. To cancel is to cross something out by stamping a mark over it, drawing lines through it, or the like: to cancel a stamp, a word. To delete is to cross something out from written matter or from matter to be printed, often in accordance with a printer's or proofreader's symbol indicating the material is to be omitted: to delete part of a line. To erase is to remove by scraping or rubbing: to erase a capital letter. To obliterate is to blot out entirely, so as to remove all sign or trace of: to obliterate a record.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for cancel out
/ (ˈkænsəl) /
verb -cels, -celling or -celled or US -cels, -celing or -celed (mainly tr)
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) accounting to 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
Derived Formscanceller or US canceler, noun
Word Origin for cancel
C14: from Old French canceller, from Medieval Latin cancellāre, from Late Latin: to strike out, make like a lattice, from Latin cancellī lattice, grating
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Idioms and Phrases with cancel out
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.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.