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. (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).


canner n.

Etymology: OE canne

Oxford English vocab.      Оксфордский английский словарь.