cancer

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin cancer (crab), from Ancient Greek καρκίνος (karkínos, crab); applied to cancerous tumors because the enlarged veins resembled the legs of a crab.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

cancer (plural cancers)

  1. (medicine, oncology, pathology) A disease in which the cells of a tissue undergo uncontrolled (and often rapid) proliferation.
    • 2006, Edwin Black, chapter 1, Internal Combustion[1]:
      If successful, Edison and Ford—in 1914—would move society away from the [] hazards of gasoline cars: air and water pollution, noise and noxiousness, constant coughing and the undeniable rise in cancers caused by smoke exhaust particulates.
    • 2013 June 22, “Snakes and ladders”, The Economist, volume 407, number 8841, page 76: 
      Risk is everywhere. From tabloid headlines insisting that coffee causes cancer (yesterday, of course, it cured it) to stern government warnings about alcohol and driving, the world is teeming with goblins. For each one there is a frighteningly precise measurement of just how likely it is to jump from the shadows and get you.
  2. (figuratively) Something which spreads within something else, damaging the latter.
    1999, Bruce Clifford Ross-Larson, Effective Writing[2], page 134:
    Sierra Leone's post-dictator problems are almost absurd in their breadth. It once exported rice; now it can't feed itself. The life span of the average citizen is 39, the shortest in Africa. Unemployment stands at 87 percent and tuberculosis is spreading out of control. Corruption, brazen and ubiquitous, is a cancer on the economy.

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French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from Latin cancer.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

cancer m (plural cancers)

  1. cancer

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Latin[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Proto-Indo-European *geng- (lump).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

cancer m (genitive cancrī); second declension

  1. a crab
  2. a tumor, cancer
  3. lattice, grid, or barrier

Inflection[edit]

Second declension, nominative singular in -er.

Number Singular Plural
nominative cancer cancrī
genitive cancrī cancrōrum
dative cancrō cancrīs
accusative cancrum cancrōs
ablative cancrō cancrīs
vocative cancer
cancre
cancrī

Descendants[edit]


Romanian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from Latin, French cancer.

Noun[edit]

cancer n

  1. cancer

Swedish[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

cancer c

  1. (medicine, oncology, pathology) cancer

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Usage notes[edit]

  • Until circa 1970, the word kräfta was also used.

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