Difference Wiki

Postpone vs. Cancel: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sumera Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Updated on October 5, 2023
Postpone vs. Cancel: "Postpone" means to delay an event to a later time, while "Cancel" means to annul or terminate an event.

Key Differences

"Postpone" and "Cancel" are both actions taken regarding events, but they signify different outcomes. When an event is postponed, it implies there's an intention to reschedule or conduct it at a later time. Canceling, on the other hand, signifies a complete termination of the event with no immediate plans to reschedule.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 05, 2023
Consider the implications: Postponing an event means it still holds potential for occurrence, just at a later date or time. It offers a sense of hope or future anticipation. Canceling an event eliminates that potential, indicating that the event won't be taking place as initially intended.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 05, 2023
In certain contexts, the decision to postpone or cancel can carry significant weight. For instance, postponing a major conference might mean logistical adjustments and rescheduling, but its essence remains. Canceling that same conference could lead to financial repercussions, lost opportunities, and perhaps disappointment.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 05, 2023
In everyday scenarios, we often encounter both terms. A meeting could be postponed due to a key member's unavailability, suggesting it will occur once they're available. If that meeting is canceled, it might not occur at all, or its agenda could be absorbed into other meetings.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 05, 2023
In summary, while both "Postpone" and "Cancel" deal with disruptions to planned events, "Postpone" provides an avenue for the event's future occurrence, whereas "Cancel" closes that avenue entirely.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 05, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Meaning

To delay to a later time
To terminate or annul
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 05, 2023

Future Implication

Event is likely to happen later
Event will not happen as planned
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 05, 2023

Temporality

Temporary delay
Permanent termination
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 05, 2023

Outcome

Anticipation for future occurrence
No immediate plans to reschedule
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 05, 2023

Emotional Undertone

Offers hope
Often denotes finality
Janet White
Oct 05, 2023
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Postpone and Cancel Definitions

Postpone

To defer or reschedule.
The game was postponed to next Saturday.*
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 05, 2023

Cancel

To nullify or invalidate.
The penalties cancel out the advantages.*
Aimie Carlson
Oct 05, 2023

Postpone

To put off an action or event.
She chose to postpone her doctor's appointment.*
Janet White
Oct 05, 2023

Cancel

To annul or invalidate
Cancel a credit card.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 28, 2023

Postpone

To delay an event to a future time.
We decided to postpone the wedding due to the weather.*
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 05, 2023

Cancel

To decide or announce that (a planned or scheduled event) will not take place, especially with no intention of holding it at a later time
Cancel a picnic.
Cancel a soccer game.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 28, 2023

Postpone

To suspend or hold off temporarily.
The manager decided to postpone the decision until further notice.*
Janet White
Oct 05, 2023

Cancel

To cross out with lines or other markings.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 28, 2023

Postpone

To cause to occur at a later date.
Unexpected circumstances made us postpone our plans.*
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 05, 2023

Cancel

To mark or perforate (a postage stamp or check, for example) to indicate that it may not be used again.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 28, 2023

Postpone

To cause or arrange for (an event) to take place at a time later than the time at which it was originally supposed to happen.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 28, 2023

Cancel

To neutralize or equalize; offset
Today's decline in stock price canceled out yesterday's gain.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 28, 2023

Postpone

To delay or put off an event, appointment, etc.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 28, 2023

Cancel

To remove (a common factor) from the numerator and denominator of a fractional expression.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 28, 2023

Postpone

(obsolete) To place after in order; to deem less important.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 28, 2023

Cancel

To remove (a common factor or term) from both sides of an equation or inequality.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 28, 2023

Postpone

To defer to a future or later time; to put off; also, to cause to be deferred or put off; to delay; to adjourn; as, to postpone the consideration of a bill to the following day, or indefinitely.
His praise postponed, and never to be paid.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 28, 2023

Cancel

To neutralize one another; counterbalance
Two opposing forces that canceled out.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 28, 2023

Postpone

To place after, behind, or below something, in respect to precedence, preference, value, or importance.
All other considerations should give way and be postponed to this.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 28, 2023

Cancel

The act or an instance of canceling; a cancellation.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 28, 2023

Postpone

Hold back to a later time;
Let's postpone the exam
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 28, 2023

Cancel

(transitive) To cross out something with lines etc.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 28, 2023

Cancel

(transitive) To invalidate or annul something.
He cancelled his order on their website.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 28, 2023

Cancel

(transitive) To mark something (such as a used postage stamp) so that it can't be reused.
This machine cancels the letters that have a valid zip code.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 28, 2023

Cancel

(transitive) To offset or equalize something.
The corrective feedback mechanism cancels out the noise.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 28, 2023

Cancel

To remove a common factor from both the numerator and denominator of a fraction, or from both sides of an equation.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 28, 2023

Cancel

To stop production of a programme.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 28, 2023

Cancel

To suppress or omit; to strike out, as matter in type.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 28, 2023

Cancel

(obsolete) To shut out, as with a railing or with latticework; to exclude.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 28, 2023

Cancel

(slang) To kill.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 28, 2023

Cancel

To cease to provide financial or moral support to (someone deemed unacceptable). Compare cancel culture.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 28, 2023

Cancel

A cancellation (US); (nonstandard in some kinds of English).
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 28, 2023

Cancel

A control message posted to Usenet that serves to cancel a previously posted message.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 28, 2023

Cancel

(obsolete) An enclosure; a boundary; a limit.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 28, 2023

Cancel

(printing) The suppression on striking out of matter in type, or of a printed page or pages.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 28, 2023

Cancel

(printing) The page thus suppressed.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 28, 2023

Cancel

(printing) The page that replaces it.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 28, 2023

Cancel

To inclose or surround, as with a railing, or with latticework.
A little obscure place canceled in with iron work is the pillar or stump at which . . . our Savior was scourged.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 28, 2023

Cancel

To shut out, as with a railing or with latticework; to exclude.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 28, 2023

Cancel

To cross and deface, as the lines of a writing, or as a word or figure; to mark out by a cross line; to blot out or obliterate.
A deed may be avoided by delivering it up to be cancelled; that is, to have lines drawn over it in the form of latticework or cancelli; though the phrase is now used figuratively for any manner of obliterating or defacing it.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 28, 2023

Cancel

To annul or destroy; to revoke or recall.
The indentures were canceled.
He was unwilling to cancel the interest created through former secret services, by being refractory on this occasion.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 28, 2023

Cancel

To suppress or omit; to strike out, as matter in type.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 28, 2023

Cancel

An inclosure; a boundary; a limit.
A prison is but a retirement, and opportunity of serious thoughts, to a person whose spirit . . . desires no enlargement beyond the cancels of the body.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 28, 2023

Cancel

The suppression or striking out of matter in type, or of a printed page or pages.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 28, 2023

Cancel

A notation cancelling a previous sharp or flat
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 28, 2023

Cancel

Postpone indefinitely or annul something that was scheduled;
Call off the engagement
Cancel the dinner party
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 28, 2023

Cancel

Make up for;
His skills offset his opponent's superior strength
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 28, 2023

Cancel

Declare null and void; make ineffective;
Cancel the election results
Strike down a law
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 28, 2023

Cancel

Remove or make invisible;
Please delete my name from your list
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 28, 2023

Cancel

Of cheques or tickets
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 28, 2023

Cancel

To decide or announce that something will not take place.
The organizers had to cancel the event.*
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 05, 2023

Cancel

To terminate or call off.
He chose to cancel his subscription.*
Janet White
Oct 05, 2023

Cancel

To mark or cross out for deletion.
Remember to cancel the incorrect entries.*
Janet White
Oct 05, 2023

Cancel

To offset or counterbalance.
These benefits cancel out the disadvantages.*
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 05, 2023

FAQs

If an event is canceled, can it be rescheduled?

Yes, while "Cancel" indicates termination, the event can be reintroduced and rescheduled later.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 05, 2023

Is "Postpone" always temporary?

Generally, "Postpone" implies a temporary delay with intentions for future occurrence.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 05, 2023

Can "Cancel" be used in mathematical contexts?

Yes, it can mean to offset or negate another value.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 05, 2023

Can "Cancel" mean to delete?

Yes, it can mean to mark for deletion or remove.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 05, 2023

In sports, what does it mean to postpone a game?

It means the game will be played at a later date or time.
Sara Rehman
Oct 05, 2023

Do "Postpone" and "Cancel" have the same emotional impact?

Often, "Postpone" offers hope, while "Cancel" can denote finality or disappointment.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 05, 2023

Can a decision be both postponed and canceled?

Yes, a decision can be postponed initially and later canceled.
Sara Rehman
Oct 05, 2023

Can "Postpone" refer to delays of short durations?

Yes, even short-term delays can be referred to as postponements.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 05, 2023

Can "Postpone" be used in legal contexts?

Yes, hearings or decisions can be postponed to later dates.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 05, 2023

Do all postponed events eventually occur?

Not necessarily, some postponed events might be further delayed or even canceled.
Harlon Moss
Oct 05, 2023

Does every canceled event indicate failure?

No, events can be canceled for various reasons, not always negative.
Sara Rehman
Oct 05, 2023

Is canceling always irreversible?

Not always, some decisions or actions can be reversed after being canceled.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 05, 2023

If a subscription is canceled, does it end immediately?

It often ends at the end of the billing cycle, but policies vary.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 05, 2023

What's the opposite of "Cancel" in transactions?

"Confirm" or "validate" can be seen as opposites.
Sara Rehman
Oct 05, 2023

Can a person be "postponed"?

Not directly, but a person's appointment or meeting can be.
Harlon Moss
Oct 05, 2023

Can "Postpone" be used for actions?

Yes, actions like decisions or tasks can be postponed.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 05, 2023

Can a person be "canceled" in modern slang?

Yes, in contemporary slang, it means to reject or ostracize someone, often publicly.
Janet White
Oct 05, 2023

Is postponing always a negative action?

Not always; it can be a strategic or necessary choice.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 05, 2023

Does "Cancel" always need a reason?

Contextually, reasons help but aren't always required.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 05, 2023

What does it mean to "cancel out" in math?

It means to negate or offset the effect of another value.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 05, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.

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