can[kan; unstressed, kən]
This little girl can play the piano.
- The definition of a can is a container normally made of metal with a lid.
An example of can is what tuna comes in.
- Can means someone or something knows how to, is able to, is likely to or has the right to do something.
- An example of can is someone knowing how to play the piano.
- An example of can is a cat being able to paint.
- An example of can is a car that usually starts.
- An example of can is someone having the key to a neighbor's house and being able to enter if they'd like.
- know(s) how to
- am, are, or is able to
- am, are, or is likely or at all likely to: can that be true?
- have or has the moral or legal right to
- Informal am, are, or is permitted to; may
Origin of canMiddle English ; from Old English 1st and amp; 3d person; personal (grammar) singular , present tense indicative , of cunnan, know, have power to, be able; common Germanic ; from Indo-European base an unverified form gen-, an unverified form gno- from source Classical Latin gnoscere, know; origin, originally meaning “to be able mentally or spiritually,” as distinguished from may, “to be able physically”
- know(s) how
- am, are, or is able: yes I can
- am, are, or is likely or at all likely
- have or has the moral or legal right
- Informal am, are, or is permitted; may
- a container of various kinds, usually made of metal with a separate cover: a milk can, a garbage can, a can of shoe polish
- ☆ a container made of tinned iron or other metal, in which foods or other perishable products are sealed for preservation
- ☆ the amount that a can holds
- ☆ Slang
- a prison
- the buttocks
- a toilet
- tin can (sense )
Origin of canMiddle English and amp; Old English canne, a cup, container ; from Germanic an unverified form kanna (from source Late Latin canna, a vessel); probably ; from Indo-European base an unverified form gan(dh), container from source Middle Irish gann, Old Norse kani
in the can
aux.v.past tense could could
- a. Used to indicate physical or mental ability: I can carry both suitcases. Can you remember the war?b. Used to indicate possession of a specified power, right, or privilege: The president can veto congressional bills.c. Used to indicate possession of a specified capability or skill: I can tune the harpsichord as well as play it.
- a. Used to indicate possibility or probability: I wonder if my long lost neighbor can still be alive. Such things can and do happen.b. Used to indicate that which is permitted, as by conscience or feelings: One can hardly blame you for being upset.c. Used to indicate probability or possibility under the specified circumstances: They can hardly have intended to do that.
- Usage Problem Used to request or grant permission: Can I be excused?
Origin of canMiddle English, first and third person sing. present tense of connen, to know how, from Old English cunnan; see gnō- in Indo-European roots. Usage Note: Generations of grammarians and teachers have insisted that can should be used only to express the capacity to do something, and that may must be used to express permission. But children do not use can to ask permission out of a desire to be stubbornly perverse. They have learned it as an idiomatic expression from adults: After you clean your room, you can go outside and play. As part of the spoken language, this use of can is perfectly acceptable. This is especially true for negative questions, such as Can't I have the car tonight? probably because using mayn't instead of can't sounds unnatural. While the distinction between can and may still has its adherents in formal usage, the number appears to be falling. In our 2009 survey, 37 percent of the Usage Panel rejected can instead of may in the sentence Can I take another week to submit the application? But more than half of these said can was only “somewhat (rather than completely) unacceptable” in this use, and the overall percentage of disapproval fell from more than 50 percent in an earlier survey. • The heightened formality of may sometimes highlights the speaker's role in giving permission. You may leave the room when you are finished implies that permission is given by the speaker. You can leave the room when you are finished implies that permission is part of a rule or policy rather than a decision on the speaker's part. For this reason, may sees considerable use in official announcements: Students may pick up the application forms tomorrow. • Like may, can is also used to indicate what is possible: It may rain this afternoon. Bone spurs can be very painful. In this use, both can and may often have personal subjects: You may see him at the concert. Even an experienced driver can get lost in this town.
- A usually cylindrical metal container.
- a. An airtight container, usually made of tin-coated iron, in which foods or beverages are preserved.b. The contents of such a container: ate a can of beans.
- Slang A jail or prison.
- Slang A toilet or restroom.
- Slang The buttocks.
- Slang A naval destroyer.
verbcanned canned, can·ning, cans
- To seal in an airtight container for future use; preserve: canning peaches.
- Slang To make a recording of: can the audience's applause for a TV comedy show.
- Slang a. To end the employment of; fire. See Synonyms at dismiss.b. To put an end or stop to: canned the TV show after one season; told the students to can the chatter.
Origin of canMiddle English canne, a water container, from Old English.
- a. canceledb. cancellation
(third-person singular simple present can, present participle -, simple past could, past participle couth (obsolete except in adjective use))
- (modal auxiliary verb, defective) To know how to; to be able to.
- She can speak English, French, and German. I can play football. Can you remember your fifth birthday?
- (modal auxiliary verb, defective, informal) May; to be permitted or enabled to.
- You can go outside and play when you're finished with your homework. Can I use your pen?
- (modal auxiliary verb, defective) To be possible, usually with be.
- Can it be Friday already?
- ca.1360-1387, William Langland, Piers Plowman
- I can no Latin, quod she.
- William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
- Let the priest in surplice white, / That defunctive music can.
- For missing forms, substitute inflected forms of be able to, as:
- I might be able to go.
- I was able to go yesterday.
- I have been able to go, since I was seven.
- I had been able to go before.
- I will be able to go tomorrow.
- The word could also suffices in many tenses. "I would be able to go" is equivalent to "I could go", and "I was unable to go" can be rendered "I could not go". (Unless there is a clear indication otherwise, "could verb" means "would be able to verb", but "could not verb" means "was/were unable to verb".)
- The present tense negative can not is often contracted to cannot or can't.
- The use of can in asking permission sometimes is criticized as being impolite or incorrect by those who favour the more formal alternative "may I...?".
- Can is sometimes used rhetorically to issue a command, placing the command in the form of a request. For instance, "Can you hand me that pen?" as a polite substitution for "Hand me that pen."
- Some US dialects that glottalize the final /t/ in can't (/kæn(ʔ)/), in order to differentiate can't from can, pronounce can as IPA: /kɛn/ even when stressed.
From Middle English can (first and third person singular of cunnen, connen "to be able, know how") from Old English can(n), first and third person singular of cunnan (“to know how”), from Proto-Germanic *kunnaną, from Proto-Indo-European, *ǵn̥néh₃-. Compare Dutch kunnen, Low German könen, German können, Danish kunne. More at canny, cunning.
- A more or less cylindrical vessel for liquids, usually of steel or aluminium.
- A container used to carry and dispense water for plants (a watering can).
- A tin-plate canister, often cylindrical, for preserved foods such as fruit, meat, or fish.
- (US, slang) toilet, bathroom.
- (US, slang) buttocks.
- (slang) jail or prison.
- (slang) headphones.
(third-person singular simple present cans, present participle canning, simple past and past participle canned)
- To preserve, by heating and sealing in a can or jar.
- They spent August canning fruit and vegetables.
- to discard, scrap or terminate (an idea, project, etc.).
- He canned the whole project because he thought it would fail.
- To shut up.
- Can your gob.
- (US, euphemistic) To fire or dismiss an employee.
- The boss canned him for speaking out.
From Middle English canne, from Old English canne (“glass, container, cup, can”), from Proto-Germanic *kannǭ (“can, tankard, mug, cup”), perhaps from Proto-Indo-European *gan-, *gandʰ- (“a vessel”). Cognate with Scots can (“can”), West Frisian kanne (“a jug, pitcher”), Dutch kan (“pot, mug”), German Kanne (“can, tankard, mug”), Danish kande (“can, mug, a measure”), Swedish kanna (“can, tankard, mug”), Icelandic kanna (“a can”).
can - Computer Definition
A transmission control character indicating that the associated data is in error or is to be ignored. 12.