cancel Definition

  • 1decide or announce that (a planned event) will not take place
  • 2revoke or destroy (a postal or philatelic item after it has been used)
  • 3neutralize or counteract (an unpleasant feeling or situation)

Using cancel: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "cancel" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    The concert was canceled due to bad weather.

  • Example

    I need to cancel my appointment with the dentist.

  • Example

    He canceled his subscription to the magazine.

  • Example

    The company canceled the project due to budget constraints.

cancel Synonyms and Antonyms

Synonyms for cancel

Antonyms for cancel

Idioms Using cancel

  • cancel someone's Christmas

    to kill someone


    If he finds out you stole his money, he'll cancel your Christmas.

  • to forgive or write off a debt


    The bank agreed to cancel his debt after he explained his financial situation.

  • to decide not to do something that was previously arranged


    I had to cancel my plans to go to the beach because of the rain.

Phrases with cancel

  • the practice of withdrawing support for (canceling) public figures and companies after they have done or said something considered objectionable or offensive


    The controversy sparked a debate about cancel culture and free speech.

  • neutralize or counteract the effect of something


    The positive effects of exercise can cancel out the negative effects of smoking.

  • have an equal and opposite effect, resulting in no overall change


    The two candidates' opposing views on taxes cancel each other out, leaving voters undecided.

Origins of cancel

from Old French 'canceler', from Latin 'cancellare', meaning 'to make resemble a lattice'


Summary: cancel in Brief

To 'cancel' [ˈkænsəl] means to decide or announce that a planned event will not take place, revoke or destroy a postal or philatelic item after it has been used, or neutralize or counteract an unpleasant feeling or situation. Examples include 'The concert was canceled due to bad weather.' and 'He canceled his subscription to the magazine.' Phrases like 'cancel culture' and idioms like 'cancel someone's Christmas' extend the term's meaning.

How do native speakers use this expression?