- an ulcerlike sore, esp. in the mouth: thought to be an immune reactionalso canker sore
- a disease of plants that causes local decay of bark and wood
- a diseased area of woody tissues
- Obs. cankerworm
- anything that corrupts or gradually destroys
- Now Dial. the dog rose
Origin of cankerMiddle English from Old French cancre from Classical Latin cancer: see cancer
- to attack or infect with canker
- to infect or debase with corruption
- Ulceration of the mouth and lips.
- An inflammation or infection of the ear and auditory canal, especially in dogs and cats.
- A condition in horses similar to but more advanced than thrush.
- a. A localized diseased or necrotic area on a plant part, especially on a trunk, branch, or twig of a woody plant, usually caused by fungi or bacteria.b. Any of several diseases of plants characterized by the presence of such lesions.
- A source of spreading corruption or decay.
verbcan·kered, can·ker·ing, can·kers
- To attack or infect with canker.
- To infect with corruption or decay.
Origin of cankerMiddle English from Old English cancer and from Old French cancre both from Latin cancer crab, malignant disease ; see kar- in Indo-European roots.
canker on a rose stem
(countable and uncountable, plural cankers)
- (botany) A plant disease marked by gradual decay.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
(third-person singular simple present cankers, present participle cankering, simple past and past participle cankered)