Meaning of CANCEL in English


I. ˈkan(t)səl, -ˈaa-, -ˈai- verb

( canceled or cancelled ; canceled or cancelled ; canceling or cancelling -s(ə)liŋ ; cancels )

Etymology: Middle English cancellen, from Middle French canceller, from Late Latin cancellare, from Latin, to make like a lattice, from cancelli lattice, diminutive of cancer lattice, alteration of carcer prison

transitive verb


a. : to mark or strike out for omission or deletion typically with lines crossed latticewise over the passage in question or by a line through the symbols involved

cancel an offensive passage

a section canceled as unimportant


(1) : omit

cancel matter set in type and not yet printed

cancel sheets printed but not yet bound

(2) : to remove (a leaf) from a book

(3) : to remove (a blank leaf) from a printed sheet before binding

2. : to remove from significance or effectiveness: as

a. : to destroy the force, effectiveness, or validity of : revoke , annul , invalidate

cancel an order

canceling a magazine subscription

b. : to bring to nothingness : destroy , ruin

canceling more material and labor with the same weight of explosives — Harland Manchester

c. : to remove from need for consideration : reduce or vitiate to the point of insignificance

was slavery so deep an evil that it canceled all other political rights and interests — Herbert Agar

d. : to match or nullify in force or effect : counterbalance , neutralize , offset — often used with out

his irritability canceled out his natural kindness — Osbert Sitwell

e. : to cease from planning or expecting : call off usually without expectation of conducting or performing at a later time : drop , relinquish

cancel a trip

a football game canceled because of heavy snow


a. : to remove (a common divisor) especially from numerator and denominator

b. : to remove (equivalents) on opposite sides of an equation or account

c. : balance

cancel an equivalent of opposite sign

— often used with out

4. : to counteract the effect of (a previous sharp or flat) by inserting in musical notation a natural sign


a. : to deface (a postage or revenue stamp) especially with a set of parallel lines, a postmark, or a series of cuts or slits to invalidate for reuse

b. : to deface the stamps on (a piece of mail)

intransitive verb

1. : to neutralize each other's strength or effect : become counterbalanced or offset — often used with out

the various pressure groups to a large degree canceled out — J.B.Conant

2. : to admit of being dropped together as equal or equivalent

the two x's on each side of the equation cancel

Synonyms: see erase

- cancel to order

II. noun

( -s )

1. : cancellation : the act of annulling or rescinding

an order quickly followed by a cancel


a. : a written part or passage suppressed or deleted

b. : a passage or page from which something has been suppressed and to which new matter has been added in its place : the leaf containing matter so replaced — called also cancelland

c. : a new leaf, sheet, or pasted-in slip substituted for or emending matter already printed as part of a book — called also cancellans

d. : blank pages removed from a printed sheet before binding

3. : a canceling direction in music : natural

4. : a postal cancellation

5. : a punch for canceling tickets — usually used in plural and often with pair

a pair of cancels

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.