- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈkæŋkɚ/
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈkæŋkə/
- Rhymes: -æŋkə(ɹ)
- Hyphenation: can‧ker
Audio (Southern England) (file)
From Middle English canker, cancre, from Old English cancer, akin to Dutch kanker, Old High German chanchar. Ultimately from Latin cancer (“a cancer”). Doublet of cancer, a later borrowing from Latin, and chancre, which came through French.
- (phytopathology) A plant disease marked by gradual decay.
- A region of dead plant tissue caused by such a disease.
- 1977, The Potato: Major Diseases and Nematodes, International Potato Center, page 46:
- Slightly sunken brown cankers of variable size and shape affect stem parts primarily below the soil line.
- A worm or grub that destroys plant buds or leaves; cankerworm.
- A corroding or sloughing ulcer; especially a spreading gangrenous ulcer or collection of ulcers in or about the mouth.
- Anything which corrodes, corrupts, or destroys.
- A kind of wild rose; the dog rose.
- c. 1596–1599 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Second Part of Henry the Fourth, […]”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act I, scene iii]:
- To put down Richard, that sweet lovely rose,
An plant this thorn, this canker, Bolingbroke?
- An obstinate and often incurable disease of a horse's foot, characterized by separation of the horny portion and the development of fungoid growths. Usually resulting from neglected thrush.
- An avian disease affecting doves, poultry, parrots and birds of prey, caused by Trichomonas gallinae.
- (ulcer, especially of the mouth): water canker, canker of the mouth, noma
- (bird disease): avian trichomoniasis, roup
- (hawk disease): frounce
- (transitive) To affect as a canker; to eat away; to corrode; to consume.
- (transitive) To infect or pollute; to corrupt.
- (intransitive) To waste away, grow rusty, or be oxidized, as a mineral.
- (intransitive) To be or become diseased, or as if diseased, with canker; to grow corrupt; to become venomous.
- “canker”, in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam, 1913, →OCLC.
canker (plural cankers)
- Bad temper.
- (archaic) To become bad-tempered, to fret, to worry.