Meaning of self-cancelling in English:



  • 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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Switching from one tendency to the other will result in a self-cancelling effect in a given period of effort.’
    • ‘There's a sense of self-cancelling motion, of action and reaction distilled into one form.’
    • ‘To start with, the claim that it is true that there is no truth is itself self-cancelling.’
    • ‘The political state of the nation is locked into a self-cancelling dynamic.’
  • 2(of a mechanical device) designed to stop working automatically when no longer required.