a malignant and invasive growth or tumor, especially one originating in epithelium, tending to recur after excision and to metastasize to other sites.
any disease characterized by such growths.

any evil condition or thing that spreads destructively; blight.
genitive Cancri
[kang-kree] /ˈkæŋ kri/ (Show IPA). (initial capital letter) Astronomy. the Crab, a zodiacal constellation between Gemini and Leo.
(initial capital letter) Astrology.

the fourth sign of the zodiac: the cardinal water sign.
a person born under this sign, usually between June 21 and July 22.

(initial capital letter) tropic of. See under tropic (def 1a).
Contemporary Examples

The Day Castro Wept A. L. Bardach September 16, 2009
Sorry, Dad, I’m Voting for Obama Christopher Buckley October 9, 2008
Hugo Chávez Claims U.S. Gives Leaders Cancer and More Crazy Quotes December 29, 2011
One Man ‘Breaking Bad’ Kills on Stage Nico Hines August 26, 2014
This Is the Way You’ll Live Forever Dr. Anand Veeravagu, MD, Tej Azad May 5, 2014

Historical Examples

The Wonders of Prayer Various
The Mayflower, January, 1905 Various
Old-Time Makers of Medicine James J. Walsh
The Blot on the Kaiser’s ‘Scutcheon Newell Dwight Hillis
A System of Practical Medicine By American Authors, Vol. II Various

any type of malignant growth or tumour, caused by abnormal and uncontrolled cell division: it may spread through the lymphatic system or blood stream to other parts of the body
the condition resulting from this
an evil influence that spreads dangerously
noun (Latin genitive) Cancri (ˈkæŋkriː)
(astronomy) a small faint zodiacal constellation in the N hemisphere, lying between Gemini and Leo on the ecliptic and containing the star cluster Praesepe

Also called the Crab. the fourth sign of the zodiac, symbol ♋, having a cardinal water classification and ruled by the moon. The sun is in this sign between about June 21 and July 22
Also called Moonchild. a person born during a period when the sun is in this sign

tropic of Cancer, See tropic (sense 1)
(astrology) born under or characteristic of Cancer

can’cer·ous (kān’sər-əs) adj.

Our Living Language : The human immune system often fights off stray cancer cells just as it does bacteria and viruses. However, when cancer cells establish themselves in the body with their own blood supply and begin replicating out of control, cancer becomes a threatening neoplasm, or tumor. It takes a minimum of one billion cancer cells for a neoplasm to be detectable by conventional radiology and physical examinations. Cancer, which represents more than 100 separate diseases, destroys tissues and organs through invasive growth in a particular part of the body and by metastasizing to distant tissues and organs through the bloodstream or lymph system. Heredity, lifestyle habits (such as smoking), and a person’s exposure to certain viruses, toxic chemicals, and excessive radiation can trigger genetic changes that affect cell growth. The altered genes, or oncogenes, direct cells to multiply abnormally, thereby taking on the aggressive and destructive characteristics of cancer. Treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation are effective with many cancers, but they also end up killing healthy cells. Gene therapy attempts to correct the faulty DNA that causes the uncontrolled growth of cancer cells. Researchers are investigating other treatments, such as immunotherapy (the stimulation of the body’s natural defenses), vectorization (aiming chemicals specifically at cancer cells), and nanotechnology (targeting cancer cells with minute objects the size of atoms).

A faint constellation in the Northern Hemisphere near Leo and Gemini. Cancer (the Crab) is the fourth sign of the zodiac.

Note: The term cancer is often used to describe a nonmedical condition that is undesirable, destructive, and invasive: “Watergate was a cancer on the presidency.”


Read Also:

  • Cancrine

    reading the same backwards as forwards: a cancrine line.

  • Candace

    a female given name: from a Greek word meaning “glowing.”. Contemporary Examples Save the Jungle! Rachel Syme November 18, 2008 The ‘Mad Men’ Book Club Samuel P. Jacobs June 10, 2012 A Passage to Literature! William Dalrymple January 18, 2011 Kirk Cameron of ‘Growing Pains’ Says He’s Not Homophobic, Explains Christian Beliefs Ramin Setoodeh March […]

  • Candent

    glowing with heat; being at a white heat. Historical Examples The Sea and the Jungle H. M. Tomlinson The Works of Sir Thomas Browne (Volume 2 of 3) Thomas Browne The Sea and the Jungle H. M. Tomlinson adjective an archaic word for incandescent

  • Candescent

    glowing; incandescent. Historical Examples Five Tales John Galsworthy The Island Pharisees John Galsworthy adjective (rare) glowing or starting to glow with heat adj.

Disclaimer: Cancer definition / meaning should not be considered complete, up to date, and is not intended to be used in place of a visit, consultation, or advice of a legal, medical, or any other professional. All content on this website is for informational purposes only.