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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.
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.

Contemporary Examples

December’s Economic Signs Looked Positive Amid Uncertainty Daniel Gross January 2, 2013
If You Build It, They Will Skate Maysoon Zayid July 16, 2013
Federal Execs to Get Millions Despite Cuts CNBC May 20, 2013
He’ll Call You, Maybe: Pope Francis Is Surprising Flock Via Phone Barbie Latza Nadeau September 7, 2013
Where Have All the Fat Rappers Gone? Or, How Hip-Hop Lost All the Weight. Emilia Petrarca August 27, 2013

Historical Examples

Not Guilty Robert Blatchford
Margaret Tudor Annie T. Colcock
The Three Brides, Love in a Cottage, and Other Tales Francis A. Durivage
Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 147, August 19th, 1914 Various
An Ocean Tramp William McFee

verb (mainly transitive) -cels, -celling, -celled (US) -cels, -celing, -celed
to order (something already arranged, such as a meeting or event) to be postponed indefinitely; call off
to revoke or annul: the order for the new television set was cancelled
to delete (writing, numbers, etc); cross out: he 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 intransitive) 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) (accounting) to 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
(intransitive) 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 (sense 20)


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