Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
- have to; cannot help but; cannot help; to be unable to do otherwise than
1789, Benjamin Franklin, “Letter to Noah Webster, December 26, 1789”, in E. Sargent editor, The select works of Benjamin Franklin, published 1855, page 498:
- I cannot but applaud your zeal for preserving the purity of our language, both in its expressions and pronunciation, and in correcting the popular errors several of our States are continually falling into with respect to both.
- Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary
- Concise E-C Dictionary