Meaning of CAN in English
1. v.aux. (3rd sing. present can; past could) (foll. by infin. without to, or absol.; present and past only in use)
1. a be able to; know how to (I can run fast; can he?; can you speak German?). b be potentially capable of (you can do it if you try).
2 be permitted to (can we go to the party?).
Etymology: OE cunnan know 2. n. & v.
1. a metal vessel for liquid.
2 a tin container in which food or drink is hermetically sealed to enable storage over long periods.
3 (prec. by the) sl. a prison (sent to the can). b US lavatory.
--v.tr. (canned, canning)
1. put or preserve in a can.
2 record on film or tape for future use.
Phrases and idioms:
can of worms colloq. a complicated problem. can-opener a device for opening cans (in sense 2 of n.). in the can colloq. completed, ready (orig. of filmed or recorded material).
Etymology: OE canne
Oxford English vocab. Оксфордский английский словарь. 2012