cancer

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English[edit]

Wikipedia-logo.png Cancer on Wikipedia.Wikipedia

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 ‎(countable and uncountable, 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, in 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”, in 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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Anagrams[edit]


Danish[edit]

Noun[edit]

cancer c (singular definite canceren, not used in plural form)

  1. cancer (disease)
  2. (slang) Something perceived as bad.

Declension[edit]


French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowing from Latin cancer. Doublet of chancre.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

cancer m ‎(plural cancers)

  1. cancer

External links[edit]


Latin[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Proto-Italic *kankros, dissimilation of Proto-Italic *karkros ‎(enclosure) (because the pincers of a crab form a circle), from Proto-Indo-European *kr-kr- ‎(circular), reduplication of Proto-Indo-European *(s)ker- ‎(to turn, bend) in the sense of "enclosure". Cognate with Latin carcer and curvus.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

cancer m ‎(genitive cancrī); second declension

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

Inflection[edit]

Second declension, nominative singular in -er.

Case Singular Plural
nominative cancer cancrī
genitive cancrī cancrōrum
dative cancrō cancrīs
accusative cancrum cancrōs
ablative cancrō cancrīs
vocative cancer1 cancrī

1May also be cancre.

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Descendants[edit]

References[edit]

  • cancer in Charlton T. Lewis & Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • cancer in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • cancer in The Perseus Project (1999) Perseus Encyclopedia[3]

Romanian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowing from Latin cancer, French cancer.

Noun[edit]

cancer n ‎(plural cancere)

  1. cancer

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Swedish[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

cancer c

  1. (medicine, oncology, pathology) cancer

Declension[edit]

Inflection of cancer 
Singular Plural
Indefinite Definite Indefinite Definite
Nominative cancer cancern cancrar cancrarna
Genitive cancers cancerns cancrars cancrarnas

Usage notes[edit]

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

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