verb (used with object), can·celed, can·cel·ing or (especially British) can·celled, can·cel·ling.
- 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.
verb (used without object), can·celed, can·cel·ing or (especially British) can·celled, can·cel·ling.
- 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.
verb -cels, -celling or -celled or US -cels, -celing or -celed (mainly tr)
- 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
- a new leaf or section of a book replacing a defective one, one containing errors, or one that has been omitted
- a less common word for cancellation
- music a US word for natural (def. 20)
v.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.