Pronunciation: (kan; unstressedkun),[key] —auxiliary v. and —v., pres. sing. 1st pers.can, —2ndcan or ( Archaic ) canst, —3rdcan, —pres. pl.can; —past sing. 1st pers.could, —2ndcould or ( Archaic ) couldst, —3rdcould, —past pl.could.For auxiliary v.: imperative, infinitive, and participles lacking. For v.(Obs.): imperativecan;infinitivecan;past part. could;pres. part.cun•ning.
—auxiliary v. 1. to be able to; have the ability, power, or skill to: She can solve the problem easily, I'm sure. 2. to know how to: He can play chess, although he's not particularly good at it. 3. to have the power or means to: A dictator can impose his will on the people. 4. to have the right or qualifications to: He can change whatever he wishes in the script. 5. may; have permission to: Can I speak to you for a moment? 6. to have the possibility: A coin can land on either side.
—n. 1. a sealed container for food, beverages, etc., as of aluminum, sheet iron coated with tin, or other metal: a can of soup. 2. a receptacle for garbage, ashes, etc.: a trash can. 3. a bucket, pail, or other container for holding or carrying liquids: water can. 4. a drinking cup; tankard.
5. a metal or plastic container for holding film on cores or reels.
6. Slang.(usually vulgar). toilet; bathroom.
7. Slang.jail: He's been in the can for a week. 8. Slang.(sometimes vulgar). buttocks.
9. Mil. Slang. a. a depth charge.
b. a destroyer.
10. carry the can,Brit. and Canadian Slang. to take the responsibility.
11. in the can, recorded on film; completed: The movie is in the can and ready for release.
—v.t. 1. to preserve by sealing in a can, jar, etc.
2. Slang.to dismiss; fire.
3. Slang.to throw (something) away.
4. Slang.to put a stop to: Can that noise! 5. to record, as on film or tape.