AskDefine | Define canker

Dictionary Definition

canker n : an ulceration (especially of the lips or lining of the mouth)


1 become infected with a canker
2 infect with a canker

User Contributed Dictionary



canker, cancre, cancer (akin to Dutch kanker, Old High German chanchar.), From cancer a cancer; or if a native word, compare Greek excrescence on tree, gangrene. Compare also Old French cancre, French chancere, from Latin cancer. See cancer, and compare chancre.



  1. A plant disease marked by gradual decay.
  2. A corroding or sloughing ulcer; especially a spreading gangrenous ulcer or collection of ulcers in or about the mouth. -- called also.
  3. Anything which corrodes, corrupts, or destroys.
  4. A kind of wild, worthless rose; the dog rose.
  5. 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.
  6. An avian disease affecting doves, poultry, parrots but also birds of prey caused by Trichomonas gallinae



plant disease marked by gradual decay
avian disease caused by T. gallinae


  1. To affect as a canker; to eat away; to corrode; to consume.
  2. To infect or pollute; to corrupt.
  3. To waste away, grow rusty, or be oxidized, as a mineral.
  4. To be or become diseased, or as if diseased, with canker; to grow corrupt; to become venomous.


Extensive Definition

This article is about the plant disease. For the human condition, see mouth ulcer.
Canker and anthracnose are general terms for a large number of different plant diseases, characterised by broadly similar symptoms including the appearance of small areas of dead tissue, which grow slowly, often over a period of years. Some are of only minor consequence, but others are ultimately lethal, and of major economic importance in agriculture and horticulture. Different cankers and anthracnoses are caused by a wide range of organisms, including fungi, bacteria, mycoplasmas and viruses. The majority of canker-causing organisms are tied obligately to a single host species or genus, but a few will attack a wider range of plants. Canker can be spread by weather and animals, making an area that even has a slight amount of canker hazardous.
Some cankers are treatable with fungicides or bactericides, but many are not; often the only treatment available is to destroy the infected plant to prevent the disease from spreading to other plants.
Some cankers:
canker in German: Baumkrebs
canker in Spanish: Antracnosis
canker in French: Chancre (botanique)
canker in Lithuanian: Deguliai
canker in Turkish: Bakteri yaprak lekesi

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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