cancel out of

cancel out

1. To negate or offset something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "cancel" and "out." My husband and I support different political parties, which means that his vote always cancels out mine.
2. To remove or erase something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "cancel" and "out." We just ran out of the crab special, so be sure to cancel it out on the menu.
3. To remove equal factors from a mathematical equation. A noun or pronoun can be used between "cancel" and "out." Once you cancel out those two numbers, what total are you left with?
4. slang To kill someone. A noun or pronoun can be used between "cancel" and "out." Ray canceled out the informant, just as the boss told him to.
5. To cease one's involvement in something. We can't cancel out now—everyone is relying on us!
See also: cancel, out

cancel out of (something)

To cease one's involvement in something. I had to cancel out of the play when I realized that its rehearsals conflicted with softball practice.
See also: cancel, of, out
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

cancel someone out of something

 and cancel someone out 
1. to eliminate someone from something (as from a list of names). We had to cancel them out. We canceled out all the people who did not show up.
2. Sl. to eliminate someone; to kill someone. The drug lord threatened to cancel out his former partner for testifying against him.
See also: cancel, of, out
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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