Pronunciation: (kan; unstressedkun), [key]
auxiliary v. and
v., pres. sing. 1st pers. can,
2nd can or ( Archaic ) canst,
3rd can,
pres. pl. can;
past sing. 1st pers. could,
2nd could or ( Archaic ) couldst,
3rd could,
past pl. could.For auxiliary v.: imperative, infinitive, and participles lacking. For v. (Obs.): imperative can;infinitive can;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.

v.t., v.i. know.


Pronunciation: (kan), [key]
n., v., canned, can•ning.

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.

1. to preserve by sealing in a can, jar, etc.
2. dismiss; fire.
3. throw (something) away.
4. put a stop to: Can that noise!
5. to record, as on film or tape.


1. Canada.
2. Canadian.


1. canceled.
2. canon.
3. canto.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.

cam wheelCana
See also:
  • can (Thesaurus)

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