can
Pronunciation
    • (RP, Ireland) IPA: /ˈkæn/, [ˈkʰan], [ˈkʰæn]
    • (GA, Canada) IPA: /ˈkæn/, [ˈkʰæn], [ˈkʰɛən], [ˈkʰeən] (see )
    • IPA: /kən/, [kʰən], [kʰn̩]
Verb

can (can; past could, past participle couth)

  1. (auxiliary verb, defective) To know how to; to be able to.
    Synonyms: be able to
    Antonyms: cannot, can't, can’t
    She can speak English, French, and German.   I can play football.   Can you remember your fifth birthday?
    • Clerks which can write books.
    • 1611 April (first recorded performance), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Cymbeline”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act II, scene ii]:
      If thou canst awake by four o' the clock, / I prithee call me. Sleep hath seized me wholly.
  2. (modal auxiliary verb, defective, informal) May; to be permitted or enabled to.
    Synonyms: may
    You can go outside and play when you're finished with your homework.   Can I use your pen?
  3. (modal auxiliary verb, defective) To have the potential to; be possible.
    Can it be Friday already?
    Teenagers can really try their parents' patience.
    Animals can experience emotions.
  4. (auxiliary verb, defective) Used with verbs of perception.
    Can you hear that?.
    I can feel the baby moving inside me.
  5. (obsolete, transitive) To know.
    Synonyms: cognize, grok, ken
    • ca.1360-1387, William Langland, Piers Plowman
      I can rimes of Robin Hood.
    • ca.1360-1387, William Langland, Piers Plowman
      I can no Latin, quod she.
    • 1593, [William Shakespeare], Venvs and Adonis, London: Imprinted by Richard Field, […], OCLC 837166078 ↗; Shakespeare’s Venvs & Adonis: […], 4th edition, London: J[oseph] M[alaby] Dent and Co. […], 1896, OCLC 19803734 ↗:
      Let the priest in surplice white, / That defunctive music can.
Translations Translations Pronunciation
  • (RP, America) enPR: kăn, IPA: /ˈkæn/
  • (Australia, Southern England) IPA: /ˈkæːn/
  • (ae-tensing) IPA: [ˈkeən]
Noun

can (plural cans)

  1. A more or less cylindrical vessel for liquids, usually of steel or aluminium, but sometimes of plastic, and with a carrying handle over the top.
  2. A container used to carry and dispense water for plants (a watering can).
  3. A tin-plate canister, often cylindrical, for preserved foods such as fruit, meat, or fish.
  4. (archaic) A chamber pot, now (US, slang) a toilet or lavatory.
    Shit or get off the can.
    Bob's in the can. You can wait a few minutes or just leave it with me.
  5. (US, slang) Buttocks.
  6. (slang) Jail or prison.
    Bob's in the can. He won't be back for a few years.
  7. (slang, in the plural) Headphones.
  8. (archaic) A drinking cup.
    • c. 1601–1602, William Shakespeare, “Twelfe Night, or VVhat You VVill”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act 2, scene 3]:
      SIR ANDREW: Nay, my troth, I know not: but I know, to be up late is to be up late.
      SIR TOBY: A false conclusion: I hate it as an unfilled can.
    • ?, Alfred Tennyson, Vision of Sin
      Fill the cup and fill the can, / Have a rouse before the morn.
  9. (nautical) A cube-shaped buoy or marker used to denote a port-side lateral mark
  10. A chimney pot.
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Verb

can (cans, present participle canning; past and past participle canned)

  1. To seal in a can.
    They canned air to sell as a novelty to tourists.
  2. To preserve by heating and sealing in a jar or can.
    They spent August canning fruit and vegetables.
  3. To discard, scrap or terminate (an idea, project, etc.).
    He canned the whole project because he thought it would fail.
  4. (transitive, slang) To shut up.
    Can your gob.
  5. (US, euphemistic) To fire or dismiss an employee.
    The boss canned him for speaking out.
  6. (golf, slang, transitive) To hole the ball.
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations Translations
CAN
Proper noun
  1. (initialism) The Andean Community of Nations.
Noun

can

  1. (inorganic compound, initialism) ceric ammonium nitrate
  2. (computing) Initialism of campus#English|campus area#English|area network#English|network.
  3. Initialism of consistent#English|consistent and asymptotically#English|asymptotically normal#English|normal, a statistic estimator Tn(X1, X2, ..., Xn) is CAN (consistent and asymptotically normal) if ....



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