Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English


English definition of “cancer”


noun     /ˈkæn.sər/ US  /-sɚ/
B1 [C or U] a serious disease that is caused when cells in the body grow in a way that is uncontrolled and not normal , killing normal cells and often causing death : He died of liver cancer. cancer of the cervix / stomach breast / bowel / lung cancer cancer cells a cancer patient It was a secondary cancer. → See also carcinogenCancer [C] a harmful activity that spreads quickly : Drug abuse is a cancer which is destroying our society .Difficult things and peoplePreventing and impeding cancerous     /-əs/ adjective a cancerous growth / tumour Cancer
(Definition of cancer noun from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of cancer

Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Difficult things and people, but you might be interested in these topics from the Easy and difficult topic area:

Definitions of “cancer” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day


a good knowledge of something, or the fact that you know it so well

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More