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In this paper, the microwave-assisted synthesis of carboxymethyl cellulose-cl-poly(lactic acid–co-itaconic acid)/ZnO-Ag nanocomposite [CMC-cl-p(LA-co-IA)/ZnO-Ag] has been discussed. Lactic acid (LA) and itaconic acid (IA) monomers were grafted onto carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) using potassium persulphate and N, N‘-methylene-bis-acrylamide (MBA) as initiator and crosslinker, respectively at optimized conditions of temperature and pressure. The nanocomposite was characterized using different techniques such as Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and energy dispersive X-ray (EDX). XRD, TEM and FTIR spectral analysis confirmed the formation of the nanocomposite. The release of amoxicillin drug-using nanocomposite as a function of pH and time has been investigated. The maximum drug release of 94.64% was pragmatic at pH 2.2 after 6 h. The degradation of congo red using nanocomposite followed the pseudo-first-order reaction model with the regression coefficient (R2) values of 0.99312. The nanocomposite was also explored for anticancer behavior against yeast cells.