Definition of self-cancelling in English:


Line breaks: self-cancel¦ling


  • 1Having elements which contradict or negate one another: some of the speculation had been self-cancelling, with newspapers predicting that the government would take quite opposite courses
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    • You might say that, as with the declaration about marriage quoted earlier, Powell's way of declaring is so circumspect or humorously self-cancelling that something original results.
    • Entertaining stuff, but I had the uncomfortable feeling that the stunts were not so much self-defeating as self-cancelling, leaving the corporate structure undamaged in each case.
    • This extraordinary general election has resulted in the extraordinary self-cancelling outcome of not one lame duck leader but two.
  • 2(Of a mechanical device) designed to stop working automatically when no longer required.

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