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Related to canst: cloyed


aux.v. Archaic
A second person singular present tense of can1.


archaic when used with the pronoun thou or its relative form, a form of can1


(kæn; unstressed kən)
auxiliary verb.
1. to be able to; have the ability, power, or skill to: She can solve the problem easily.
2. to know how to: I can play chess, but not very well.
3. to have the power or means to: a dictator who can impose his will on the people.
4. to have the right or qualifications to: He can change whatever he wishes in the script.
5. may; have permission to: Can I speak to you for a moment?
6. to have the possibility: A coin can land on either side.
v.t., v.i.
7. Obs. to know.
can but, to be able to do nothing else except; can only: We can but try.
[before 900; Middle English, Old English, present indic. singular 1st, 3rd person of cunnan to know, know how]
usage: can and may are often interchangeable in the sense of possibility: A power failure can (or may) occur at any time. Despite the traditional insistence that only may conveys permission, both words are regularly used in this sense: Can (or May) I borrow your tape recorder? can occurs this way chiefly in spoken English; may occurs more frequently in formal speech and writing. In negative constructions, can't or cannot is more common than may not; the contraction mayn't is rare: You can't park in the driveway. can but and cannot but are somewhat formal expressions suggesting that there is no alternative to doing something. See also cannot, help.



n., v. canned, can•ning. n.
1. a sealed container for food, beverages, etc., as of aluminum, sheet iron coated with tin, or other metal.
2. a receptacle for garbage, ashes, etc.
3. a bucket or other container for holding or carrying liquids.
4. a metal or plastic container for holding film on cores or reels.
5. Slang: Sometimes Vulgar. toilet; bathroom.
6. Slang. jail.
7. Slang: Sometimes Vulgar. buttocks.
8. Mil. Slang.
a. a depth charge.
b. a destroyer.
9. to preserve by sealing in a can, jar, etc.
10. Slang. to dismiss; fire.
11. Slang. to put a stop to: Can that noise!
12. to record, as on film or tape.
in the can, (of a commercial film, scene, etc.) completed.
[before 1000; Middle English, Old English canne, c. Old High German channa, Old Norse kanna]


1. Canada.
2. Canadian.


1. canceled.
2. canon.
3. canto.
References in classic literature ?
Born of roses, fed on dew, Charms and potions canst thou brew?
Mine ear is open, and my heart prepared: The worst is wordly loss thou canst unfold:--Say, is my kingdom lost?
My poor woman," said the not unkind old minister, "the child shall be well cared for -- far better than thou canst do for it.
Push not off from that isle, thou canst never return
Is this the creature of whom it was once so triumphantly said -- Canst thou fill his skin with barbed irons?
Thou canst say, who hast seen that same expression on the face dearest to thee;--that look indescribable, hopeless, unmistakable, that says to thee that thy beloved is no longer thine.
I remember the master, before he fell into a doze, stroking her bonny hair - it pleased him rarely to see her gentle - and saying, 'Why canst thou not always be a good lass, Cathy?
But of the loved, revered, and honoured head, thou canst not turn one hair to thy dread purposes, or make one feature odious.
But, whatever they said, the end was the same, for the king would sigh gently and say: "Fare thee well, my sister; it is unfortunate for thee that there is a cat in thy hut," or "that there is no cat in thy hut," or "that thou canst not tell me whether there be a cat in thy hut or no.
Thou therefore whom thou only canst redeeme, Thir Nature also to thy Nature joyne; And be thy self Man among men on Earth, Made flesh, when time shall be, of Virgin seed, By wondrous birth: Be thou in ADAMS room The Head of all mankind, though ADAMS Son.
Thou canst play the rational if thou wilt; credit me for once, and let us home ere the storm begins to rage, for the night will be fearful.
So far as I can see, friend Sancho, these are not knights but base folk of low birth: I mention it because thou canst lawfully aid me in taking due vengeance for the insult offered to Rocinante before our eyes.