\ kən, ˈkan
also ˈken; dialectal ˈkin \
kəd , ˈku̇d
\; present singular & plural can
: be physically or mentally able to
He can lift 200 pounds.
: know how to
She can read.
—used to indicate possibility Do you think he can still be alive?Those things can happen. —sometimes used interchangeably with may
: be inherently able or designed to
everything that money can buy
: be enabled by law, agreement, or custom to
Congress can declare war.
: be permitted by conscience or feeling to
can hardly blame her
: be made possible or probable by circumstances to
He can hardly have meant that.
: be logically or axiologically able to
2 + 2 can also be written 3 + 1.
: have permission to
—used interchangeably with may You can go now if you like.
: a usually cylindrical receptacle:
: a container (as of tinplate) in which products (such as perishable foods) are hermetically sealed for preservation until use
a can of beans
: a usually metal typically cylindrical receptacle usually with an open top, often with a removable cover, and sometimes with a spout or side handles (as for holding liquid or trash)
: a jar for packing or preserving fruit or vegetables
: a vessel for holding liquids
: a drinking vessel
… in his hand did bear a boozing can … — Edmund Spenser
: a recessed lighting fixture
Augment natural light with recessed cans in the ceiling, sconces on side walls, or a table lamp on a shelf …— Jill Connors
He needs a kick in the can.
The cops threw him in the can.
—usually plural You don't realize just how noisy it is inside a plane until you put on a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones … . I generally leave the noise-cancelling cans on even when I'm not listening to anything at all—the relative quiet makes a long trip less stressful.— Steven Morgenstern
in the can
of a film or videotape
: completed and ready for release
: 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
: to discharge from employment
got canned for being late so often
: to put a stop or end to
were told to can the chatter