v. can·celed, can·cel·ing, can·cels also can·celled or can·cel·ling
a. To annul or invalidate: cancel a credit card.
b. 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: cancel a picnic; cancel a soccer game.
a. To cross out with lines or other markings. See Synonyms at erase.
b. To mark or perforate (a postage stamp or check, for example) to indicate that it may not be used again.
3. To neutralize or equalize; offset: Today's decline in stock price canceled out yesterday's gain.
a. To remove (a common factor) from the numerator and denominator of a fractional expression.
b. To remove (a common factor or term) from both sides of an equation or inequality.
To neutralize one another; counterbalance: two opposing forces that canceled out.
The act or an instance of canceling; a cancellation.
[Middle English cancellen, from Old French canceller, from Latin cancellāre, to cross out, from cancellus, lattice, diminutive of cancer, lattice.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.