cannot but
or cannot help but also cannot help phrasal to be unable to do otherwise than <
we cannot but wonder why
>

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • cannot\ but — • cannot but formal • can t help but informal v. phr. To be forced to; can only; must. When the streets are full of melting snow, you can t help but get your shoes wet. When a friend gave Jim a ticket to the game, he couldn t help but go. When a… …   Словарь американских идиом

  • cannot but — phrasal 1. : to be inescapably constrained to (as out of a sense of fitness or rightness) : be left with no alternative than to an obsequiousness one cannot but feel aversion to 2. : to be bound to : be sure to : must his personality cannot but… …   Useful english dictionary

  • cannot but — idi to have no alternative but to; cannot help but: We cannot but choose otherwise[/ex] …   From formal English to slang

  • cannot (help) but — formal phrase to have no choice except to do something You cannot help but like her. As I look back over my career, I cannot but smile. Thesaurus: choices and the process of choosingsynonym Main entry …   Useful english dictionary

  • but — 1. general. But is a preposition and conjunction, and is used contrastively: (preposition) Everyone seems to know but me / (conjunction) Everyone seems to know but I don t. In more modern usage, as the OED and Fowler (1926) have both recognized,… …   Modern English usage

  • cannot — [kan′ät΄, kə nät′] can not cannot but have no choice but to; must …   English World dictionary

  • cannot — can|not [ kæ,nat, kə nat ] modal verb *** the negative form of CAN. The less formal way of saying and writing this is can t: Please don t tell me what I can and cannot do! What if the parties cannot agree? You cannot escape the law. cannot (help) …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • cannot */*/*/ — UK [ˈkænɒt] / US [ˈkæˌnɑt] / US [kəˈnɑt] modal verb the negative form of can. The less formal way of saying and writing this is can t Please don t tell me what I can and cannot do! What if the parties cannot agree? You cannot escape the law. •… …   English dictionary

  • cannot — /kan ot, ka not , keuh /, v. 1. a form of can not. 2. cannot but, have no alternative but to: We cannot but choose otherwise. [1350 1400; ME] Usage. CANNOT is sometimes also spelled CAN NOT. The one word spelling is by far the more common:… …   Universalium

  • cannot help but —  is an increasingly common construction, and perhaps now may be said to carry the weight of idiom, but it is also worth noting that it is both unnecessarily wordy and a little irregular. You cannot help but notice what a bad name deregulation has …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

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