cannot

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

can +‎ not

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈkænɒt/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈkæ(n.)nɑt/, /ˈkɛ(n.)nɑt/, /kə(n)ˈnɑt/, /kɪ(n)ˈnɑt/
  • (file)
  • (Canada) IPA(key): /kəˈnɑt/
  • Hyphenation: can‧not
  • Rhymes: -ɒt

Verb[edit]

cannot

  1. Can not (am/is/are unable to).
    I cannot open the window. It is stuck.
  2. Am/are/is forbidden or not permitted to
    • 1668 December 19, James Dalrymple, “Mr. Alexander Seaton contra Menzies” in The Deciſions of the Lords of Council & Seſſion I (Edinburgh, 1683), page 575
      The Pupil after his Pupillarity, had granted a Diſcharge to one of the Co-tutors, which did extinguiſh the whole Debt of that Co-tutor, and conſequently of all the reſt, they being all correi debendi, lyable by one individual Obligation, which cannot be Diſcharged as to one, and ſtand as to all the reſt.
    • 2013 June 21, Karen McVeigh, “US rules human genes can't be patented”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 2, page 10:
      The US supreme court has ruled unanimously that natural human genes cannot be patented, a decision that scientists and civil rights campaigners said removed a major barrier to patient care and medical innovation.
    You cannot enter the hall without a ticket.
Usage notes[edit]

Both the one-word form cannot and the two-word form can not are acceptable, but cannot is more common (in the Oxford English Corpus, three times as common). The two-word form is better only in a construction in which not is part of a set phrase, such as 'not only... but (also)': Paul can not only sing well, but also paint brilliantly.

Synonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

cannot ‎(plural cannots)

  1. Something that cannot be done.
    the cans and cannots

Statistics[edit]

Most common English words before 1923: course · side · small · #223: cannot · father · nor · moment

Anagrams[edit]


Norman[edit]

Etymology[edit]

EB1911 - Volume 01 - Page 001 - 1.svg This entry lacks etymological information. If you are familiar with the origin of this term, please add it to the page per etymology instructions. You can also discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.

Noun[edit]

cannot m ‎(plural cannots)

  1. (Jersey) duckling

Derived terms[edit]

  • cannoter(to walk like a duck)