from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- auxiliary v. Used to indicate physical or mental ability: I can carry both suitcases. Can you remember the war?
- auxiliary v. Used to indicate possession of a specified power, right, or privilege: The President can veto congressional bills.
- auxiliary v. Used to indicate possession of a specified capability or skill: I can tune the harpsichord as well as play it.
- auxiliary v. Used to indicate possibility or probability: I wonder if my long lost neighbor can still be alive. Such things can and do happen.
- auxiliary v. Used to indicate that which is permitted, as by conscience or feelings: One can hardly blame you for being upset.
- auxiliary v. Used to indicate probability or possibility under the specified circumstances: They can hardly have intended to do that.
- auxiliary v. Usage Problem Used to request or grant permission: Can I be excused?
- n. A usually cylindrical metal container.
- n. An airtight container, usually made of tin-coated iron, in which foods or beverages are preserved.
- n. The contents of such a container.
- n. Slang A jail or prison.
- n. Slang A toilet or restroom.
- n. Slang The buttocks.
- n. Slang A naval destroyer.
- transitive v. To seal in an airtight container for future use; preserve: canning peaches.
- transitive v. Slang To make a recording of: can the audience's applause for a TV comedy show.
- transitive v. Slang To dismiss from employment or school. See Synonyms at dismiss.
- transitive v. Slang To put a stop to; quit: Let's can the chatter.
- idiom can of worms A complex or difficult problem.
- idiom in the can Completed and ready for release, as a film or scene of a film.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. To know how to; to be able to.
- v. May; to be permitted or enabled to.
- v. To know.
- n. A more or less cylindrical vessel for liquids, usually of steel or aluminium.
- n. A container used to carry and dispense water for plants (a watering can).
- n. A tin-plate canister, often cylindrical, for preserved foods such as fruit, meat, or fish.
- n. toilet, bathroom.
- n. buttocks.
- n. jail or prison.
- n. headphones.
- v. To preserve, by heating and sealing in a can or jar.
- v. to discard, scrap or terminate (an idea, project, etc.).
- v. To shut up.
- v. To fire or dismiss an employee.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- an obs. form of began, imp. & p. p. of begin, sometimes used in old poetry. [See gan.]
- n. A drinking cup; a vessel for holding liquids.
- n. A vessel or case of tinned iron or of sheet metal, of various forms, but usually cylindrical.
- transitive v. To preserve by putting in sealed cans.
- v. To know; to understand.
- v. To be able to do; to have power or influence.
- v. To be able; -- followed by an infinitive without to.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- A. As an independent verb.
- To know; understand.
- To know how to do; be able to do.
- [So in early use the negative, to con unthank, to give no thanks.
- To have ability; be able. Still so used in Scotch: as, I'll no can go.
- B. As an auxiliary.
- To be able; properly, to be able physically; hence, by extension, to be able mentally, morally, or legally; possess the qualities, qualifications, or resources necessary for the attainment of any end or the accomplishment of any purpose, the specific end or purpose being indicated by the verb to which can is auxiliary.
- [Formerly used also in the infinitive.
- May: noting merely permission; as, you can have it if you wish; can I speak to you a moment?
- n. Knowledge; skill; ability.
- n. A vessel of small or moderate size and made of any material, but now generally of sheet-metal, such as tin, and used as a drinking-cup or to contain liquids, preserves, etc.
- n. A measure of liquids in the Shetland islands, containing about an English gallon.
- n. The revolving cylindrical holder into which the sliver falls from a carding-machine.
- n. Cup and can. See cup.
- To put into a can; especially, to put into sealed metal cans or glass jars, for preservation, as prepared vegetables, fruits, and meats.
- A frequent Middle English corruption of gan, began, preterit of ginnen, begin (see gin): often equivalent, with the infinitive of a principal verb, to the preterit of that verb.
- n. The catty or pound of Cochin China, equal to 1 pound 6 ounces avoirdupois.
- n. A chimney-pot.
- n. An abbreviation of canon;
- n. of canto;
- n. of cantoris.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. the quantity contained in a can
- n. airtight sealed metal container for food or drink or paint etc.
- v. terminate the employment of; discharge from an office or position
- v. preserve in a can or tin
- n. a room or building equipped with one or more toilets
- n. the fleshy part of the human body that you sit on
- n. a plumbing fixture for defecation and urination
- n. a buoy with a round bottom and conical top
Middle English, first and third person sing. present tense of connen, to know how, from Old English cunnan.
Middle English canne, a water container, from Old English.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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 *kunnanan, from Proto-Indo-European, *ǵn̥néh₃-. Compare Dutch kunnen, German können, Danish kunne. More at canny, cunning. (Wiktionary)
From Middle English canne, from Old English canne ("glass, container, cup, can"), from Proto-Germanic *kannōn (“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"). (Wiktionary)