Can

Definition of Can

Pronunciation: kăn
1.an obs. form of began, imp. & p. p. of Begin, sometimes used in old poetry. [See Gan.]
With gentle words he can faile gree.
- Spenser.
n.1.A drinking cup; a vessel for holding liquids.
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.
v. t.1.To preserve by putting in sealed cans
[imp. & p. p. Canned ; p. pr. & vb. n. Canning.]
Canned goods
a general name for fruit, vegetables, meat, or fish, preserved in hermetically sealed cans.
v. t. & i.1.To know; to understand.
[imp. Could .]
I can rimes of Rodin 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.
The will of Him who all things can.
- Milton.
For what, alas, can these my single arms?
- Shak.
Mæcænas and Agrippa, who can most with Cæsar.
- Beau. & Fl.
3.To be able; - followed by an infinitive without to; as, I can go, but do not wish to.
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.

Related Words

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