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[kang-kerd] /ˈkæŋ kərd/
morally corrupt.
  1. destroyed or having portions destroyed by the feeding of a cankerworm.
  2. having a cankerous part; infected with a canker.
Origin of cankered
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English; see canker, -ed3
Related forms
cankeredly, adverb
cankeredness, noun
uncankered, adjective


[kang-ker] /ˈkæŋ kər/
a gangrenous or ulcerous sore, especially in the mouth.
a disease affecting horses' feet, usually the soles, characterized by a foul-smelling exudate.
a defined area of diseased tissue, especially in woody stems.
something that corrodes, corrupts, destroys, or irritates.
Also called canker rose. British Dialect, dog rose.
verb (used with object)
to infect with canker.
to corrupt; destroy slowly.
verb (used without object)
to become infected with or as if with canker.
before 1000; Middle English; Old English cancer < Latin cancer; see cancer
4. blight, cancer, scourge. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for cankered
  • Burning or burying all cankered or dead branches or twigs will eliminate the infection sources.
  • Pruning well back of cankered area and disposing of infected wood removes a source of new infection.
  • Any cankered or infected branches or twigs should be cut back to healthy wood during the dormant season.
  • cankered stems have greatly reduced sawtimber value.
  • For each sample the frequency and distribution of cankered twigs and branches will be estimated.
  • cankered areas are often readily visible from the healthy green of the unaffected portion of the cane.
  • Those collected from cankers were obtained by plating pieces of bark from cankered poplar tissues.
  • Dead or severely cankered branches should be removed as soon as possible.
British Dictionary definitions for cankered


an ulceration, esp of the lips or lining of the oral cavity
(vet science)
  1. a disease of horses in which the horn of the hoofs becomes soft and spongy
  2. an inflammation of the lining of the external ear, esp in dogs and cats, resulting in a discharge and sometimes ulceration
  3. ulceration or abscess of the mouth, eyelids, ears, or cloaca of birds
an open wound in the stem of a tree or shrub, caused by injury or parasites
something evil that spreads and corrupts
to infect or become infected with or as if with canker
Word Origin
Old English cancer, from Latin cancer crab, cancerous sore
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cankered



late Old English cancer "spreading ulcer, cancerous tumor," from Latin cancer "malignant tumor," literally "crab" (see cancer); influenced in Middle English by Old North French cancre "canker, sore, abscess" (Old French chancre, Modern French chancre). The word was the common one for "cancer" until c.1700. Also used since 15c. of caterpillars and insect larvae that eat plant buds and leaves. As a verb from late 14c. Related: Cankered; cankerous. Canker blossom is recorded from 1580s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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cankered in Medicine

canker can·ker (kāng'kər)

  1. Ulceration of the mouth and lips.

  2. An acute inflammation or infection of the ear and auditory canal, especially in dogs and cats.

  3. Cancrum.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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cankered in the Bible

a gangrene or mortification which gradually spreads over the whole body (2 Tim. 2:17). In James 5:3 "cankered" means "rusted" (R.V.) or tarnished.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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