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cancer (n.)

古英语 cancer “蔓延的疮, 恶性肿瘤” (也有 canceradl), 来自拉丁语 cancer “一只螃蟹”, 后来, “恶性肿瘤”, 来自希腊语 karkinos, 和现代英语单词一样, 有三个意思:螃蟹, 肿瘤和螃蟹所代表的星座, 来自PIE *karkro-, 是词根 *kar- “坚硬” 的重读形式.

希腊医生希波克拉底和盖伦等人注意到螃蟹与一些血管肿胀的肿瘤相似. 古英语单词被法国影响的双关 canker, 但在现代医学意义上17世纪被重新引入. 在参考来自古英语晚期的星座; 意思是“出生在巨蟹座星座下的人” 是来自1894年. 夏至时太阳在巨蟹座, 这个星座在拉丁文作家中与南方和夏天的炎热有关联. Cancer stick “香烟” 是1959年的.

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Definitions of cancer from WordNet
1
cancer (n.)
any malignant growth or tumor caused by abnormal and uncontrolled cell division; it may spread to other parts of the body through the lymphatic system or the blood stream;
Synonyms: malignant neoplastic disease
2
Cancer (n.)
(astrology) a person who is born while the sun is in Cancer;
Synonyms: Crab
Cancer (n.)
a small zodiacal constellation in the northern hemisphere; between Leo and Gemini;
Cancer (n.)
the fourth sign of the zodiac; the sun is in this sign from about June 21 to July 22;
Synonyms: Cancer the Crab / Crab
Cancer (n.)
type genus of the family Cancridae;
Synonyms: genus Cancer
From wordnet.princeton.edu