[ kang-kerd ]
/ ˈkæŋ kərd /


morally corrupt.
(of plants)
  1. destroyed or having portions destroyed by the feeding of a cankerworm.
  2. having a cankerous part; infected with a canker.

Origin of cankered

late Middle English word dating back to 1375–1425; see origin at canker, -ed3
Related formscan·kered·ly, adverbcan·kered·ness, nounun·can·kered, adjective

Definition for cankered (2 of 2)


[ kang-ker ]
/ ˈkæŋ kər /


verb (used with object)

to infect with canker.
to corrupt; destroy slowly.

verb (used without object)

to become infected with or as if with canker.

Origin of canker

before 1000; Middle English; Old English cancer < Latin cancer; see cancer
SYNONYMS FOR canker Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cankered

British Dictionary definitions for cankered


/ (ˈkæŋkə) /


an ulceration, esp of the lips or lining of the oral cavity
vet science
  1. a disease of horses in which the horn of the hoofs becomes soft and spongy
  2. an inflammation of the lining of the external ear, esp in dogs and cats, resulting in a discharge and sometimes ulceration
  3. 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 for canker

Old English cancer, from Latin cancer crab, cancerous sore
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

Word Origin and History for cankered



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for cankered


[ kăngkər ]


Ulceration of the mouth and lips.
An acute inflammation or infection of the ear and auditory canal, especially in dogs and cats.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.