Definition of canker in English:

canker

Line breaks: can¦ker
Pronunciation: /ˈkaŋkə
 
/

noun

[mass noun]
  • 1A destructive fungal disease of apple and other trees that results in damage to the bark: cut out lesions on branches caused by canker
    More example sentences
    • Activity in the citrus orchards of central Queensland has ground to a halt as the state calls for help to deal with the mammoth task of inspecting trees for the disease canker.
    • It pays to be on the lookout for apple scab, canker and mildew, tackling any problems before they become deeply ingrained and hard to treat.
    • Trees appear to resist bacterial canker but are very susceptible to fire blight.
  • 1.1 [count noun] An open lesion in plant tissue caused by infection or injury: check trees for cankers
    More example sentences
    • In dry edible beans, anthracnose causes unsightly cankers on plant stems, pods, and seeds.
    • As the infection progresses, trees undergo twig and branch dieback and develop stem cankers, which results in tree-death.
    • He visits other chestnut trees, too, packing mud on their cankers and clipping flowers for use in breeding programs.
  • 1.2Fungal rot in some fruits and vegetables, e.g. parsnips and tomatoes: canker is this crop’s arch enemy
  • 2An ulcerous condition or disease of a human or animal, in particular:
  • 2.1 (also canker sore) North American A small ulcer of the mouth or lips: a remedy for canker sores
    More example sentences
    • This means that you swish the medicine around in your mouth, especially around your canker sore, for a few minutes before swallowing it.
    • Call your doctor if your child's canker sore gets worse.
    • When my husband was a little boy, the doctor told his mom he had a canker sore.
  • 2.2 another term for thrush2 ( sense 2).
  • 2.3Ulceration of the throat and other orifices of birds, typically caused by a protozoal infection: secondary infections of canker and coccidiosis
  • 2.4Inflammation of the ear of a dog, cat, or rabbit, typically caused by a mite infestation.
    More example sentences
    • Be sure to purchase ear canker powder as it has the additional benefit of helping to control canker and ear mites in your Shih Tzu.
    • It promotes healing and dries up the inner ear canker as well as the external areas that may become sore and moist from the canker discharge.
    • Ear mite or ear canker is a very common infection in most rabbitries and is economically important because of the loss of condition and poor reproductive performance that this infestation can cause.
  • 3A malign and corrupting influence that is difficult to eradicate: [in singular]: racism remains a canker at the heart of the nation
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    • Now the big question is how to curb the canker of corruption and restore much needed probity in public life.
    • ‘That is the canker in the heart of the Conservative Party and that is what sparked the trouble,’ he said
    • For politicians, the overstayer issue is a bit of a canker.
    Synonyms
    blight, evil, scourge, poison, cancer, sickness, disease, pestilence, plague; rot, corruption

verb

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  • 1 [no object] (Of woody plant tissue) become infected with canker: (as noun cankering) we found some cankering of the wood
    More example sentences
    • Stems may be girdled just above the soil line; tissue thus damaged may appear cracked or cankered.
    • Many larger trees showed cankered boles and parasite-bloated boughs.
    • Tiny black specks, which are reproductive bodies of the cane blight fungus, develop in the brown cankered bark.
  • 2 (as adjective cankered) Infected with a pervasive and corrupting bitterness: he hated her with a cankered, shameful abhorrence
    More example sentences
    • I mean, you know, irony's funny and all, but if all you do is make fun of other things, you get this kind of cankered, empty feeling.
    • I'm a 37-year-old graduate student who's having the usual dating difficulties common among those of us who are old and grey and cankered.
    • Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire.

Derivatives

cankerous

adjective
More example sentences
  • It sows seeds of guilt and worthlessness in the child, fertile ground for cankerous depression to take root in the adult.
  • He had inspected the dark labyrinth of the Old Brewery, tripping over the inert, inebriated bodies, peeking into miserable closets housing filthy mothers and cankerous children.
  • Every August I determine to do this after I have harvested the fruit, and every year I get cold feet because the memory of the pears is so delicious that I cannot bear to lose them, cankerous or not.

Origin

Middle English (denoting a tumour): from Old French chancre, from Latin cancer 'crab' (see cancer).

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