Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

carry the can

Definition of carry the can

British, informal

  1. :  to accept blame or responsibility for something that one did not cause <He made the error, but she was left to carry the can.> <Taxpayers will carry the can for the renovations.>

Word by Word Definitions

  1. :  to move while supporting :  transport

    :  to convey by direct communication

    :  conduct, escort

  1. :  carrying power

    :  the range of a gun or projectile or of a struck or thrown ball

    :  portage

  1. :  know, understand

    :  to be able to do, make, or accomplish

    :  to have knowledge or skill

  1. :  a usually cylindrical receptacle:

    :  a vessel for holding liquids

    :  a drinking vessel

  1. :  to put in a can :  preserve by sealing in airtight cans or jars

    :  to hit (a golf shot) into the cup

    :  to hit (a shot) in basketball

  1. : canceled; cancellation

    : cannon

    : canto

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up carry the can? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a great number

Get Word of the Day daily email!