- 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 canceling
Canceling on a commitment with short notice is not Iowa nice, particularly in a state that values its political traditions.Did Joni Ernst’s Des Moines Register Diss Just Destroy Her ‘Iowa-Nice’?
October 25, 2014
He responded to the revelations by canceling a public appearance involving relief for Hurricane Sandy victims.In New Jersey, There’s No Exit for Chris Christie’s Bridge Trolls
January 9, 2014
In this age of austerity, the Navy has decided to save some money by canceling Fleet Week.Sequester Cancels Much-Anticipated Fleet Week in New York
April 26, 2013
On the face of it, the politics of canceling the tours seems pretty shrewd.Why Canceled White House Tours Are Sinking Obama on the Sequester
March 15, 2013
The city was often loath to change companies, in part because it feared the disruption that canceling their routes might cause.New York City Bus Strike: A Cosy Cartel, Running Out of Gas
January 17, 2013
I'm canceling the flight that's leaving now and I'll keep the ship here, ready to go.Deathworld
With the canceling of the Indulgence, the persecution of the Quakers was renewed.William Penn
"Visiting iniquities" and canceling them are not the same thing.Notes on the book of Exodus
C. H. (Charles Henry) Mackintosh
Instead of canceling their obligations as his own had been, he cast them into prison.The Bible Unveiled
M. M. Mangasarian
A party labored on the idea of a device to perforate postage stamps in the operation of canceling them.
- 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 canceling
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.