Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To cross out with lines or other markings. See Synonyms at erase.
  • transitive v. To annul or invalidate.
  • transitive v. To mark or perforate (a postage stamp or check, for example) to indicate that it may not be used again.
  • transitive v. To equalize or make up for; offset: Today's decline in stock price canceled out yesterday's gain.
  • transitive v. Mathematics To remove (a common factor) from the numerator and denominator of a fractional expression.
  • transitive v. Mathematics To remove (a common factor or term) from both sides of an equation or inequality.
  • transitive v. Printing To omit or delete.
  • intransitive v. To neutralize one another; counterbalance: two opposing forces that canceled out.
  • n. The act or an instance of canceling; a cancellation.
  • n. Printing Deletion of typed or printed matter.
  • n. Printing The matter deleted.
  • n. Printing A replacement for deleted matter.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To cross out something with lines etc.
  • v. To invalidate or annul something.
  • v. To mark something (such as a used postage stamp) so that it can't be reused.
  • v. To offset or equalize something.
  • v. (mathematics) To remove a common factor from both the numerator and denominator of a fraction, or from both sides of an equation.
  • v. (media) To stop production of a programme.
  • n. A cancellation (US); (nonstandard in some kinds of English).
  • n. An inclosure; a boundary; a limit.
  • n. The suppression on striking out of matter in type, or of a printed page or pages.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An inclosure; a boundary; a limit.
  • n.
  • n. The suppression or striking out of matter in type, or of a printed page or pages.
  • n. The part thus suppressed.
  • intransitive v. To inclose or surround, as with a railing, or with latticework.
  • intransitive v. To shut out, as with a railing or with latticework; to exclude.
  • intransitive v. To cross and deface, as the lines of a writing, or as a word or figure; to mark out by a cross line; to blot out or obliterate.
  • intransitive v. To annul or destroy; to revoke or recall.
  • intransitive v. To suppress or omit; to strike out, as matter in type.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To inclose with latticework or a railing.
  • To draw lines across (something written) so as to deface; blot out or obliterate: as, to cancel several lines in a manuscript.
  • To annul or destroy; make void; set aside: as, to cancel a debt or an engagement.
  • In mathematics, to strike out or eliminate, as a number or quantity constituting a common factor in a dividend and divisor or the numerator and denominator of a fraction, or a common term in the two members of an equation.
  • In printing, to strike out, reject, or throw aside, as some portion of a printed work.
  • In music, to suspend the power of (a sharp or a flat) by inserting the sign ♯.
  • Repeal, Rescind, etc. See abolish.
  • To become obliterated or void.
  • In printing, to mark on copy or proof (words or lines that are to be omitted).
  • In bookbinding, to destroy (a leaf or section that is to be entirely suppressed).
  • n. Latticework, or one of the cross-bars in latticework; a latticework or grated inclosure; hence, a barrier; a limit.
  • n. [⟨ cancel, v.] In printing, a page, sheet, or other part of a printed work suppressed and destroyed before publication; the act of rejecting a part of a printed work.
  • n. [⟨ cancel, v.] In music, the sign ♯, when used to nullify the effect of a sharp or a flat previously occurring either in the signature or as an accidental.
  • n. An order canceling or countermanding a previous order.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. remove or make invisible
  • v. postpone indefinitely or annul something that was scheduled
  • n. a notation cancelling a previous sharp or flat
  • v. make invalid for use
  • v. make up for
  • v. declare null and void; make ineffective

Etymologies

Middle English cancellen, from Old French canceller, from Latin cancellāre, to cross out, from cancellus, lattice, diminutive of cancer, lattice.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin cancelli ("a railing or lattice"), diminutive of cancer ("a lattice"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Again, asking students to "please call to cancel" is not a viable solution.

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  • I couldn't find any information on how to cancel until I entered the word cancel In the site's search engine.

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  • When you see a lot of little objects moving crazily back and forth, all the different motion signals that get sent to the brain cancel each other out.

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  • And on a side note, here is a hint for Vonage customers - When I called the cancel, they offered me three months of service for free, plus they reduced my rate after that to $19/month.

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  • I explain this because unfortunately the dictionary might define the word cancel as both: not to pay and to pay.

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  • Here's now the final equation to calculate pH will look: Again, the volume terms cancel out, illustrating once again, it is the molar ratio of conjugate acid and base that determine the pH of solution.

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  • “Mrs. Britten-Jones, we’ve been talking to Licky, and it seems like the sensible thing to do is to …” There’s something about the way she’s looking at me that makes me hesitant to use the word cancel. “… postpone the wedding for the time being …”

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  • Y = C + I + NX - G + GThe two G terms cancel out, leaving

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  • Most will also enroll you in third-party programs and your credit card will be hit every month until you cancel, which isn't easy to do when you don't know where the charge is coming from.

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  • The portrait of Jean Moulin used on the stamp and the cancel is a very well known one.

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