can
I. verb (past could; present singular & plural can) Etymology: Middle English (1st & 3d singular present indicative), from Old English; akin to Old High German kan (1st & 3d singular present indicative) know, am able, Old English cnāwan to know — more at know Date: before 12th century transitive verb 1. obsolete know, understand 2. archaic to be able to do, make, or accomplish intransitive verb archaic to have knowledge or skill verbal auxiliary 1. a. know how to <
she can read
>
b. be physically or mentally able to <
he can lift 200 pounds
>
c. — used to indicate possibility <
do you think he can still be alive
>
<
those things can happen
>
— sometimes used interchangeably with may d. be permitted by conscience or feeling to <
can hardly blame her
>
e. be made possible or probable by circumstances to <
he can hardly have meant that
>
f. be inherently able or designed to <
everything that money can buy
>
g. be logically or axiologically able to <
2 + 2 can also be written 3 + 1
>
h. be enabled by law, agreement, or custom to 2. have permission to — used interchangeably with may <
you can go now if you like
>
Usage: Can and may are most frequently interchangeable in senses denoting possibility; because the possibility of one's doing something may depend on another's acquiescence, they have also become interchangeable in the sense denoting permission. The use of can to ask or grant permission has been common since the 19th century and is well established, although some commentators feel may is more appropriate in formal contexts. May is relatively rare in negative constructions (mayn't is not common); cannot and can't are usual in such contexts. II. noun Etymology: Middle English canne, from Old English; akin to Old High German channa Date: before 12th century 1. a usually cylindrical receptacle: a. a vessel for holding liquids; specifically a drinking vessel b. a usually metal typically cylindrical receptacle usually with an open top, often with a removable cover, and sometimes with a spout or side handles (as for holding milk or trash) c. a container (as of tinplate) in which products (as perishable foods) are hermetically sealed for preservation until use d. a jar for packing or preserving fruit or vegetables 2. jail 3. a. toilet b. bathroom 1 4. buttocks 5. destroyer 2 • canful noun III. transitive verb (canned; canning) Date: 1859 1. a. to put in a can ; preserve by sealing in airtight cans or jars <
can tomatoes
>
b. to hit (a golf shot) into the cup c. to hit (a shot) in basketball 2. to discharge from employment 3. slang to put a stop or end to • canner noun IV. abbreviation 1. canceled; cancellation 2. cannon 3. canto

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Can — Can, v. t. & i. Note: [The transitive use is obsolete.] [imp. {Could}.] [OE. cunnen, cannen (1st sing. pres. I can), to know, know how, be able, AS. cunnan, 1st sing. pres. ic cann or can, pl. cunnon, 1st sing. imp. c[=u][eth]e (for cun[eth]e); p …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • CAN — bezeichnet: einen meist männlichen Vornamen, siehe Can (Vorname) den alternativen Titel des deutschen Fernsehfilms „Wut“ von Züli Aladag, siehe Wut (Fernsehfilm) eine deutsche Rockband, siehe Can (Band) im Graffiti die Sprühdose (englisch für:… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • CaN — bezeichnet: den männlichen Vornamen türkischen Ursprungs, siehe Can (Vorname) den alternativen Titel des deutschen Fernsehfilms Wut von Züli Aladag, siehe Wut (Fernsehfilm) die deutsche Rockband, siehe Can (Band) im Graffiti die Sprühdose… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Can — bezeichnet: den männlichen Vornamen türkischen Ursprungs, siehe Can (Vorname) den alternativen Titel des deutschen Fernsehfilms Wut von Züli Aladag, siehe Wut (Fernsehfilm) die deutsche Rockband, siehe Can (Band) im Graffiti die Sprühdose… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Can. — bezeichnet: den männlichen Vornamen türkischen Ursprungs, siehe Can (Vorname) den alternativen Titel des deutschen Fernsehfilms Wut von Züli Aladag, siehe Wut (Fernsehfilm) die deutsche Rockband, siehe Can (Band) im Graffiti die Sprühdose… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Can — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. {{{image}}}   Sigles d une seule lettre   Sigles de deux lettres > Sigles de trois lettres …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Can — Can, n. [OE. & AS. canne; akin to D. Kan, G. Kanne, OHG. channa, Sw. Kanna, Dan. kande.] 1. A drinking cup; a vessel for holding liquids. [Shak. ] [1913 Webster] Fill the cup and fill can, Have a rouse before the morn. Tennyson. [1913 Webster] 2 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Can — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Can puede designar: al perro (Canis lupus familiaris), un mamífero doméstico; a dos constelaciones representadas tradicionalmente con forma de perro, Canis Major y Canis Minor; al término arquitectónico que designa… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Can — may refer to:* Can (band) ** Can (album) * Tin can, an airtight metal container usually storing food * Beverage can * Joacim Cans, member of the band HammerFall * Buttocks, a body part * The act of canning, a process of preserving food * An… …   Wikipedia

  • CAN — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda La sigla CAN puede designar: a la Comunidad Andina, una organización regional económica y política constituida por: Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, y Perú. al bus de control CAN, empleado en la comunicación de sistemas… …   Wikipedia Español

  • CAN — may refer to:* CAN bus, the Controller Area Network bus, a broadcast shared serial bus for microcontrollers used mainly in the automotive applications;Organizations * The Andean Community of Nations * Campus Antiwar Network * Capital Alumni… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”