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canker (1 fig. ? sometimes to be referred to 2)
1. eating, spreading sore or ulcer, usu. fig. John V. ii. 14 “the inveterate canker of one wound,” 2H6 I. ii. 18 “the canker of ambitious thoughts,” Tim. IV. iii. 49.
2. ‘worm’ that destroys buds and leaves, also fig. (freq.) Gent. I. i. 43, MND. II. ii. 3, Rom. II. iii. 30, Ham. I. iii. 39 “The canker galls the infants of the spring,” V. ii. 69 “this canker of our nature,” Sonn. xxxv. 4; hence canker-bit, worm-eaten Lr. V. iii. 124, canker-sorrow John III. iv. 82.
3. dog-rose Ado I. iii. 28 “I had rather be a canker in a hedge than a rose in his grace,” 1H4 I. iii. 176; hence canker-bloom Sonn. liv. 5.
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