Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To annul or invalidate.
  • intransitive verb To decide or announce that (a planned or scheduled event) will not take place, especially with no intention of holding it at a later time.
  • intransitive verb To cross out with lines or other markings. synonym: erase.
  • intransitive verb To mark or perforate (a postage stamp or check, for example) to indicate that it may not be used again.
  • intransitive verb To neutralize or equalize; offset.
  • intransitive verb To remove (a common factor) from the numerator and denominator of a fractional expression.
  • intransitive verb To remove (a common factor or term) from both sides of an equation or inequality.
  • intransitive verb To neutralize one another; counterbalance.
  • noun The act or an instance of canceling; a cancellation.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Latticework, or one of the cross-bars in latticework; a latticework or grated inclosure; hence, a barrier; a limit.
  • noun [⟨ 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.
  • noun [⟨ 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.
  • noun An order canceling or countermanding a previous order.
  • 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).
  • 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.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun obsolete An inclosure; a boundary; a limit.
  • noun The suppression or striking out of matter in type, or of a printed page or pages.
  • noun The part thus suppressed.
  • intransitive verb obsolete To inclose or surround, as with a railing, or with latticework.
  • intransitive verb obsolete To shut out, as with a railing or with latticework; to exclude.
  • intransitive verb 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 verb To annul or destroy; to revoke or recall.
  • intransitive verb (Print.) To suppress or omit; to strike out, as matter in type.
  • intransitive verb (Print) figures cast with a line across the face., as for use in arithmetics.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

  • verb remove or make invisible
  • verb postpone indefinitely or annul something that was scheduled
  • noun a notation cancelling a previous sharp or flat
  • verb make invalid for use
  • verb make up for

Etymologies

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

[Middle English cancellen, from Old French canceller, from Latin cancellāre, to cross out, from cancellus, lattice, diminutive of cancer, lattice.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin cancelli ("a railing or lattice"), diminutive of cancer ("a lattice").

Examples

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

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

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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • “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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