can

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search

English[edit]

Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English can (first and third person singular of cunnen, connen "to be able, know how") from Old English can(n), first and third person singular of cunnan (to know how), from Proto-Germanic *kunnaną, from Proto-Indo-European, *ǵn̥néh₃-. Compare Dutch kunnen, Low German könen, German können, Danish kunne. More at canny, cunning.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (stressed)
  • (unstressed)
    • IPA(key): /kən/, /kn̩/, /kɪn/

Verb[edit]

can (third-person singular simple present can, present participle -, simple past could, past participle couth (obsolete except in adjective use))

  1. (modal auxiliary verb, defective) To know how to; to be able to.
    She can speak English, French, and German.   I can play football.   Can you remember your fifth birthday?
    • 2013 July-August, Lee S. Langston, “The Adaptable Gas Turbine”, American Scientist: 
      Turbines have been around for a long time—windmills and water wheels are early examples. The name comes from the Latin turbo, meaning vortex, and thus the defining property of a turbine is that a fluid or gas turns the blades of a rotor, which is attached to a shaft that can perform useful work.
  2. (modal auxiliary verb, defective, informal) May; to be permitted or enabled to.
    You can go outside and play when you're finished with your homework.   Can I use your pen?
  3. (modal auxiliary verb, defective) To be possible, usually with be.
    Can it be Friday already?
    • 1922, Ben Travers, chapter 5, A Cuckoo in the Nest:
      The most rapid and most seductive transition in all human nature is that which attends the palliation of a ravenous appetite. [] Can those harmless but refined fellow-diners be the selfish cads whose gluttony and personal appearance so raised your contemptuous wrath on your arrival?
  4. (obsolete, transitive) To know.
Usage notes[edit]
  • For missing forms, substitute inflected forms of be able to, as:
    • I might be able to go.
    • I was able to go yesterday.
    • I have been able to go, since I was seven.
    • I had been able to go before.
    • I will be able to go tomorrow.
  • The word could also suffices in many tenses. "I would be able to go" is equivalent to "I could go", and "I was unable to go" can be rendered "I could not go". (Unless there is a clear indication otherwise, "could verb" means "would be able to verb", but "could not verb" means "was/were unable to verb".)
  • The present tense negative can not is often contracted to cannot or can't.
  • The use of can in asking permission sometimes is criticized as being impolite or incorrect by those who favour the more formal alternative "may I...?".
  • Can is sometimes used rhetorically to issue a command, placing the command in the form of a request. For instance, "Can you hand me that pen?" as a polite substitution for "Hand me that pen."
  • Some US dialects that glottalize the final /t/ in can't (/kæn(ʔ)/), in order to differentiate can't from can, pronounce can as IPA(key): /kɛn/ even when stressed.
Synonyms[edit]
Antonyms[edit]
See also[edit]
Translations[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English canne, from Old English canne (glass, container, cup, can), from Proto-Germanic *kannǭ (can, tankard, mug, cup), perhaps from Proto-Indo-European *gan-, *gandʰ- (a vessel). Cognate with Scots can (can), West Frisian kanne (a jug, pitcher), Dutch kan (pot, mug), German Kanne (can, tankard, mug), Danish kande (can, mug, a measure), Swedish kanna (can, tankard, mug), Icelandic kanna (a can).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

a can (3)

can (plural cans)

  1. A more or less cylindrical vessel for liquids, usually of steel or aluminium.
  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. (US, slang) toilet, bathroom.
  5. (US, slang) buttocks.
  6. (slang) jail or prison.
  7. (slang) headphones.
  8. (obsolete) A drinking cup.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)
    • Tennyson
      Fill the cup and fill the can, / Have a rouse before the morn.
Synonyms[edit]
  • (cylindrical metal container): tin (British & Australian at least)
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Verb[edit]

can (third-person singular simple present cans, present participle canning, simple past and past participle canned)

  1. To preserve, by heating and sealing in a can or jar.
    They spent August canning fruit and vegetables.
  2. to discard, scrap or terminate (an idea, project, etc.).
    He canned the whole project because he thought it would fail.
  3. To shut up.
    Can your gob.
  4. (US, euphemistic) To fire or dismiss an employee.
    The boss canned him for speaking out.
Translations[edit]

Statistics[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Afar[edit]

Noun[edit]

can

  1. milk

Asturian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin canis.

Noun[edit]

can m (plural canes)

  1. dog (animal)

Synonyms[edit]


Azeri[edit]

Other scripts
Cyrillic ҹан
Roman can
Perso-Arabic جان

Etymology[edit]

From Persian جان (jân, soul, vital spirit, life), whence also Turkish can and Armenian ջան (ǰan).

Noun[edit]

can (definite accusative canı, plural canlar)

  1. soul, spirit
  2. being, creature, life
  3. body
  4. force, vigour

Declension[edit]


Classical Nahuatl[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Adverb[edit]

cān

  1. Where.

Derived terms[edit]


Galician[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin canis.

Noun[edit]

can m (plural cans)

  1. dog

Related terms[edit]


Interlingua[edit]

Noun[edit]

can (plural canes)

  1. dog
  2. cock, hammer (of a firearm)

Irish[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

can (present analytic canann, future analytic canfaidh, verbal noun canadh, past participle canta)

  1. To sing.

Inflection[edit]

Mutation[edit]

Irish mutation
Radical Lenition Eclipsis
can chan gcan
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.

Istriot[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin canis.

Noun[edit]

can m

  1. dog

Italian[edit]

Noun[edit]

can m (plural cani)

  1. (poetic and literary form of cane) dog

can m (invariable)

  1. khan

Lojban[edit]

Rafsi[edit]

can

  1. rafsi of canre.

Mandarin[edit]

Romanization[edit]

can

  1. Nonstandard spelling of cān.
  2. Nonstandard spelling of cán.
  3. Nonstandard spelling of cǎn.
  4. Nonstandard spelling of càn.

Usage notes[edit]

  • English transcriptions of Mandarin speech often fail to distinguish between the critical tonal differences employed in the Mandarin language, using words such as this one without the appropriate indication of tone.

Occitan[edit]

Noun[edit]

can m (plural cans)

  1. dog, hound

Old Provençal[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Latin quandō

Conjunction[edit]

can

  1. when

Adverb[edit]

can

  1. (interrogative) when

Scots[edit]

Verb[edit]

can

  1. can
  2. be able to
    He shuid can dae that- He should be able to do that

Scottish Gaelic[edit]

Verb[edit]

can (present participle form cantainn)

  1. say

Spanish[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin canis (compare Aromanian cãne, Catalan ca, French chien, Italian cane, Portuguese cão), from Proto-Indo-European *ḱwṓ.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

can m (plural canes)

  1. dog, hound

Synonyms[edit]

Hypernyms[edit]

Hyponyms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


Turkish[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Persian جان (jân, soul, vital spirit, life).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

can (definite accusative canı, plural canlar)

  1. soul, life, being
  2. sweetheart

Declension[edit]

See also[edit]


Venetian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin canis.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

Venetian Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia vec

can m (plural cani)

  1. dog

Welsh[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

can

  1. bleached, white
  2. hundred

Noun[edit]

can m (plural caniau)

  1. a can
  2. flour

Mutation[edit]

Welsh mutation
radical soft nasal aspirate
can gan nghan chan

See also[edit]

References[edit]