• "'I can lend you fourpence, old chap,' said Smythe."
    "'I can lend you fourpence, old chap,' said Smythe."
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v can preserve in a can or tin "tinned foods are not very tasty"
    • v can terminate the employment of; discharge from an office or position "The boss fired his secretary today","The company terminated 25% of its workers"
    • n can airtight sealed metal container for food or drink or paint etc.
    • n can a room or building equipped with one or more toilets
    • n can a plumbing fixture for defecation and urination
    • n can the fleshy part of the human body that you sit on "he deserves a good kick in the butt","are you going to sit on your fanny and do nothing?"
    • n can a buoy with a round bottom and conical top
    • n can the quantity contained in a can
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

"'You can have a shake-down here,' said the farmer." "'You can have a shake-down here,' said the farmer."
"'Can he do this?' Charlie asked." "'Can he do this?' Charlie asked."
Pasted a Tomato Can Label on the Suitcase 31 Pasted a Tomato Can Label on the Suitcase 31
Why can't you look where you're going Why can't you look where you're going
"I'm a-goin' to buy that little picter, and I want to know if I can take it home now?" "I'm a-goin' to buy that little picter, and I want to know if I can take it home now?"
You Can All Go to H—ll You Can All Go to H—ll
One can generally pass around obstructions like this on the trail One can generally pass around obstructions like this on the trail

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The Gastric Flu can cause projectile vomiting
    • Can A drinking cup; a vessel for holding liquids. "Fill the cup and fill can ,
      Have a rouse before the morn."
    • Can A vessel or case of tinned iron or of sheet metal, of various forms, but usually cylindrical; as, a can of tomatoes; an oil can; a milk can .
    • Can kăn an obs. form of began, imp. & p. p. of Begin, sometimes used in old poetry. See Gan "With gentle words he can faile gree."
    • Can To be able to do; to have power or influence. "The will of Him who all things can .""For what, alas, can these my single arms?""Mæcænas and Agrippa, who can most with Cæsar."
    • Can To be able; -- followed by an infinitive without to; as, I can go, but do not wish to. "Yet he could not but acknowledge to himself that there was something calculated to impress awe, . . . in the sudden appearances and vanishings . . . of the masque""Tom felt that this was a rebuff for him, and could not but understand it as a left-handed hit at his employer."
    • Can To know; to understand. "I can rimes of Rodin Hood.""I can no Latin, quod she.""Let the priest in surplice white,
      That defunctive music can ."
      "To skill the arts of expressing our mind."
    • v. t Can To preserve by putting in sealed cans "Canned meats"
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Rabbits can live up to ten years
    • can A. As an independent verb.
    • can To know; understand.
    • can To know how to do; be able to do.
    • can [So in early use the negative, to con unthank, to give no thanks.
    • can To have ability; be able. Still so used in Scotch: as, I'll no can go.
    • can B. As an auxiliary.
    • can To be able; properly, to be able physically; hence, by extension, to be able mentally, morally, or legally; possess the qualities, qualifications, or resources necessary for the attainment of any end or the accomplishment of any purpose, the specific end or purpose being indicated by the verb to which can is auxiliary.
    • can [Formerly used also in the infinitive.
    • can May: noting merely permission; as, you can have it if you wish; can I speak to you a moment?
    • n can Knowledge; skill; ability.
    • n can A vessel of small or moderate size and made of any material, but now generally of sheet-metal, such as tin, and used as a drinking-cup or to contain liquids, preserves, etc. Cans are generally cylindrical in form, as drinking- and preserving-cans; but in some cases they are square or conical, and are sometimes provided with a handle and spout, as oil-cans for lubricating purposes, watering-cans, etc.
    • n can A measure of liquids in the Shetland islands, containing about an English gallon.
    • n can The revolving cylindrical holder into which the sliver falls from a carding-machine.
    • n can Cup and can. See cup.
    • can To put into a can; especially, to put into sealed metal cans or glass jars, for preservation, as prepared vegetables, fruits, and meats.
    • can A frequent Middle English corruption of gan, began, preterit of ginnen, begin (see gin): often equivalent, with the infinitive of a principal verb, to the preterit of that verb.
    • n can The catty or pound of Cochin China, equal to 1 pound 6 ounces avoirdupois.
    • n can A chimney-pot.
    • n can An abbreviation of canon;
    • n can of canto;
    • n can of cantoris.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Eating dandelions can make you urinate more
    • v.i Can kan to be able: to have sufficient power
    • Can is used for gan in M. E. and even in Spenser
    • n Can kan a vessel for holding or carrying liquids, generally of tinned iron, with a handle over the top: a chimney-pot: a vessel of tin-plate in which meat, fruit, &c. are hermetically sealed for exporting—in England usually called a tin: a drinking-mug
    • v.t Can to put up for preservation in cans
    • ***


  • Thomas Carlyle
    “The king is the man who can.”
  • Wayne Dyer
    “You can never get enough of what you don't want.”
  • Henry David Thoreau
    “The man who is dissatisfied with himself, what can he do?”
  • John Galsworthy
    John Galsworthy
    “A man of action forced into a state of thought is unhappy until he can get out of it.”
  • Mahatma Gandhi
    “A man is the sum of his actions, of what he has done, of what he can do, Nothing else.”
  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “The search for the perfect venture can turn into procrastination. Your idea may or may not have merit. The key is to get started.”


Before you can say Jack Robinson - The term Jack Robinson represents 'a short amount of time'. When you do something before you can say Jack Robinson, you do it very quickly.
Before you can say knife - (UK) If something happens before you can say knife, it happens very quickly.
Beggars can't be choosers - This idiom means that people who are in great need must accept any help that is offered, even if it is not a complete solution to their problems.
Bite off more than you can chew - If you bite off more than you can chew, you take on more responsibilities than you can manage. 'Don't bite off more than you can chew' is often used to advise people against agreeing to more than they can handle.
Can of worms - If an action can create serious problems, it is opening a can of worms.
Can't dance and it's too wet to plow - (USA) When you can't dance and it's too wet to plow, you may as well do something because you can't or don't have the opportunity to do anything else.
Can't do it for toffee - If you can't so something for toffee, you are incapable of doing something properly or to any sort of standard.
Can't get a word in edgeways - If you can't get a word in edgeways, you don't have the chance to say anything because the person you are with is is talking all the time.
Can't get to 1st base - If you can't get to first base, you're having difficulties starting something.
Can't hack it - Unable to perform an act, duty, job etc. (example: I have to quit my job as a computer technician; I just can't hack it.)
Can't hold a candle - If something can't hold a candle to something else, it is much worse.
Can't see the forest for its trees - If someone can't see the forest for its trees, they are too focused on specific details to see the picture as a whole.
Carry the can - If you carry the can, you take the blame for something, even though you didn't do it or are only partly at fault.
Catch as catch can - This means that people should try to get something any way they can.
If you can't run with the big dogs, you'd better stay on the porch - If you can't keep up with what others are doing, then it is best not to attempt it.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. cunnen, cannen,1st sing. pres. I can,), to know, know how, be able, AS. cunnan, 1st sing. pres. ic cann, or can, pl. cunnon, 1st sing. imp. cūðe,for cunðe,); p. p. cūð,for cunð,); akin to OS. Kunnan, D. Kunnen, OHG. chunnan, G. können, Icel. kunna, Goth. Kunnan, and E. ken, to know. The present tense I can,AS. ic cann,) was originally a preterit, meaning I have known, or Learned, and hence I know, know how,. √45. See Ken Know; cf. Con Cunning Uncouth


In literature:

You are handsome, attractive, you can make a fortune if you will; you can grace any society.
"Floyd Grandon's Honor" by Amanda Minnie Douglas
Can I have my dinner right off?
"Still Jim" by Honoré Willsie Morrow
No interpretation can mistake it; no casuist can doubt upon it; it is a work well done.
"A Report of the Debates and Proceedings in the Secret Sessions of the Conference Convention" by Lucius Eugene Chittenden
It has given us a God that can love and be loved, can stoop and can lift, can pardon and can purify.
"Expositions of Holy Scripture" by Alexander Maclaren
All is, you can get wise from what I tell you and can keep your eyes peeled from now on.
"Blow The Man Down" by Holman Day
I can't see what way we can get it now.
"The Flag of Distress" by Mayne Reid
What one band can do, surely another can.
"The Peril Finders" by George Manville Fenn
Come to the coffee shop, where we can be comfortable, and I'll be happy to tell you everything I can.
"The Alembic Plot" by Ann Wilson
You can no more swallow the thirty-nine articles than I can eat Twisleton's dinner.
"The Bertrams" by Anthony Trollope
I can't bear to live, but I can't die!
"Hopes and Fears scenes from the life of a spinster" by Charlotte M. Yonge

In poetry:

Can't eat his fill,
Can't drink his will,
Can't climb his hill,
Can't have his Jill.
"Old Man Hoppergrass" by Stephen Vincent Benet
General, man is very useful.
He can fly and he can kill.
But he has one defect:
He can think.
"From A German War Primer" by Bertolt Brecht
No! it can not, can not be!
Love is God and God is love,
And they live and love above,
Guinevere and he!
"A Guinevere" by Madison Julius Cawein
Jack Sprat can eat no fat,
His wife can eat no lean,
Because upon their platter now
No meat is ever seen.
"Rursery Rhymes" by Abner Cosens
Floating high, floating wide,--
We can see it from far,
Our flag, it's the flag,
We can count every star!
"Flag Song" by Nancy Byrd Turner
Can I see anothers woe,
And not be in sorrow too?
Can I see anothers grief,
And not seek for kind relief.
"On Anothers Sorrow" by William Blake

In news:

Cell phones can be helpful, and they can be annoying—but did you know they can be the inspiration for great theater.
"While their still recovering from their first can develop massive swelling in their brain and they can die," explains Dr Halstead.
Mark Twain reportedly said, "Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can read".
It starts the night before, just as we've eaten all we can eat, watched all of the football we can watch and contemplated all that we are thankful for.
Workpieces that require operations that can be performed on a turning center and a machining center can often be produced more efficiently on a multi-process machine tool that combines machining center and turning center capabilities.
In a model where you have such a loading definition, you can set the load to be an output vector in a new set, which can then be treated as any output vector and contoured .
Researchers have found experimental evidence that a touch can be worth a thousand words, that fleeting physical contact can express specific emotions — silently, subtly and unmistakably.
For all the stories about what can go wrong in college athletics, there are still occasionally stories about what can go right.
Diamond core drills can be a small but important part of any project, and premium quality can make the difference between a successful rental and a disappointed customer.
You can also find a visitor's center, various little shops and galleries, and restaurants where you can sample local foods such as Stargazy pies, Cornish fairings, yarg, and Cornish pasties.
These build-ups can narrow the arteries and restrict the normal flow of oxygen-rich blood, or they can block the flow of blood altogether.
But, there are some that enjoy their job SO much you can just can't help but wish you were them.
At Punkin' Time pumpkin patch, the kids can ring up their own sales with the Richter Scale, a counterweight scale that children can operate, to figure out the rough cost of their pumpkins.
While bankruptcies and M&As can shift supplier leverage, implementing a threat review board can prevent or mitigate the effects of these events.
Money can't buy you class, but it can pay for a whole bunch of autotune.

In science:

Thus we can conclude that for any CS of the OS in the RBPM one can construct an equivalent ground state of the RTIM, and one can give a set of couplings, Ji , and transverse fields,hi , for which the given ground state is realized.
Phase transition in the 2d random Potts model in the large-q limit
Returning to random walks we can see that a quantum computer can efficiently implement any discrete time quantum random walk whenever a classical computer can implement the underlying classical random walk.
Quantum random walks - an introductory overview
Of course we do not know this, but can prove monotonicity in c : that as the number of clauses increases, the expected fraction of clauses that can be satisfied can only decrease.
Random MAX SAT, Random MAX CUT, and Their Phase Transitions
Typically, one can recognize in such a sum a discrete version of some random matrix integral and so one can ask whether the powerful and honed tools of the random matrix theory can be applied.
The uses of random partitions
Since the SP system can model the operation of a universal Turing machine, it can, in principle, be used for any kind of arithmetic or mathematical operation and it can, in principle, perform any kind of ‘procedure’ that one might program in a procedural programming language such as C++ or Cobol.
Towards an Intelligent Database System Founded on the SP Theory of Computing and Cognition