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Can

6 definitions found

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:

May \May\ (m[=a]), v. [imp. {Might} (m[imac]t)] [AS. pres. maeg I am able, pret. meahte, mihte; akin to D. mogen, G. m["o]gen, OHG. mugan, magan, Icel. mega, Goth. magan, Russ. moche. [root]103. Cf. {Dismay}, {Main} strength, {Might}. The old imp. mought is obsolete, except as a provincial word.] An auxiliary verb qualifying the meaning of another verb, by expressing: (a) Ability, competency, or possibility; -- now oftener expressed by {can}.

How may a man, said he, with idle speech, Be won to spoil the castle of his health! --Spenser.

For what he [the king] may do is of two kinds; what he may do as just, and what he may do as possible. --Bacon.

For of all sad words of tongue or pen The saddest are these: "It might have been." --Whittier. (b) Liberty; permission; allowance.

Thou mayst be no longer steward. --Luke xvi. 2. (c) Contingency or liability; possibility or probability.

Though what he learns he speaks, and may advance Some general maxims, or be right by chance. --Pope. (d) Modesty, courtesy, or concession, or a desire to soften a question or remark.

How old may Phillis be, you ask. --Prior. (e) Desire or wish, as in prayer, imprecation, benediction, and the like. "May you live happily." --Dryden.

{May be}, & {It may be}, are used as equivalent to {possibly}, {perhaps}, {maybe}, {by chance}, {peradventure}. See 1st {Maybe}.

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:

Can \Can\, noun [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. ]

Fill the cup and fill can, Have a rouse before the morn. --Tennyson.

2. A vessel or case of tinned iron or of sheet metal, of various forms, but usually cylindrical; as, a can of tomatoes; an oil can; a milk can.

Note: A can may be a cylinder open at the top, as for receiving the sliver from a carding machine, or with a removable cover or stopper, as for holding tea, spices, milk, oysters, etc., or with handle and spout, as for holding oil, or hermetically sealed, in canning meats, fruits, etc. The name is also sometimes given to the small glass or earthenware jar used in canning.

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:

Can \Can\, verb (used with an object) [imp. & p. p. {Canned}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Canning}.] To preserve by putting in sealed cans [U. S.] "Canned meats" --W. D. Howells.

{Canned goods}, a general name for fruit, vegetables, meat, or fish, preserved in hermetically sealed cans.

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:

Can \Can\, verb (used with an object) & 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. p. c[=u][eth] (for cun[eth]); akin to OS. Kunnan, D. Kunnen, OHG. chunnan, G. k["o]nnen, Icel. kunna, Goth. Kunnan, and E. ken to know. The present tense I can (AS. ic cann) was originally a preterit, meaning I have known or Learned, and hence I know, know how. [root]45. See {Ken}, {Know}; cf. {Con}, {Cunning}, {Uncouth}.]

1. To know; to understand. [Obs.]

I can rimes of Robin Hood. --Piers Plowman.

I can no Latin, quod she. --Piers Plowman.

Let the priest in surplice white, That defunctive music can. --Shak.

2. To be able to do; to have power or influence. [Obs.]

The will of Him who all things can. --Milton.

For what, alas, can these my single arms? --Shak.

M[ae]c[ae]nas and Agrippa, who can most with C[ae]sar. --Beau. & Fl.

3. To be able; -- followed by an infinitive without to; as, I can go, but do not wish to.

Syn: {Can but}, {Can not but}. It is an error to use the former of these phrases where the sens requires the latter. If we say, "I can but perish if I go," "But" means only, and denotes that this is all or the worst that can happen. When the apostle Peter said. "We can not but speak of the things which we have seen and heard." he referred to a moral constraint or necessety which rested upon him and his associates; and the meaning was, We cannot help speaking, We cannot refrain from speaking. This idea of a moral necessity or constraint is of frequent occurrence, and is also expressed in the phrase, "I can not help it." Thus we say. "I can not but hope," "I can not but believe," "I can not but think," "I can not but remark," etc., in cases in which it would be an error to use the phrase can but.

Yet he could not but acknowledge to himself that there was something calculated to impress awe, . . . in the sudden appearances and vanishings . . . of the masque --De Quincey.

Tom felt that this was a rebuff for him, and could not but understand it as a left-handed hit at his employer. --Dickens.

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:

Can \Can\ (k[a^]n), an obs. form of began, imp. & p. p. of {Begin}, sometimes used in old poetry.

Note: [See {Gan}.]

With gentle words he can faile gree. --Spenser.

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) [wn]:

can

noun

1: airtight sealed metal container for food or drink or paint etc. [syn: {can}, {tin}, {tin can}]

2: the quantity contained in a can [syn: {can}, {canful}]

3: a buoy with a round bottom and conical top [syn: {can}, {can buoy}]

4: the fleshy part of the human body that you sit on; "he deserves a good kick in the butt"; "are you going to sit on your fanny and do nothing?" [syn: {buttocks}, {nates}, {arse}, {butt}, {backside}, {bum}, {buns}, {can}, {fundament}, {hindquarters}, {hind end}, {keister}, {posterior}, {prat}, {rear}, {rear end}, {rump}, {stern}, {seat}, {tail}, {tail end}, {tooshie}, {tush}, {bottom}, {behind}, {derriere}, {fanny}, {ass}]

5: a plumbing fixture for defecation and urination [syn: {toilet}, {can}, {commode}, {crapper}, {pot}, {potty}, {stool}, {throne}]

6: a room or building equipped with one or more toilets [syn: {toilet}, {lavatory}, {lav}, {can}, {john}, {privy}, {bathroom}]

verb

1: preserve in a can or tin; "tinned foods are not very tasty" [syn: {can}, {tin}, {put up}]

2: terminate the employment of; discharge from an office or position; "The boss fired his secretary today"; "The company terminated 25% of its workers" [syn: {displace}, {fire}, {give notice}, {can}, {dismiss}, {give the axe}, {send away}, {sack}, {force out}, {give the sack}, {terminate}] [ant: {employ}, {engage}, {hire}]

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Definitions retrieved from the Open Source DICT Webster's English and WordNet 3.0 dictionaries. Click here for database copyright information.

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