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Related to couldst: hadst, mayest, wouldst


 (ko͝od′ĭst) or couldst (ko͝odst)
aux.v. Archaic
A second person singular past tense of can1.


archaic used with the pronoun thou or its relative form, the form of could


(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.
Mentioned in ?
References in classic literature ?
Who that saw thee in battle would believe that thou couldst die?
Couldst thou surely tell, Hester, whether he was the same man that encountered thee on the forest path?
But I said, old man, that ere thou couldst die on this voyage, two hearses must verily be seen by thee on the sea; the first not made by mortal hands; and the visible wood of the last one must be grown in America.
To say and strait unsay, pretending first Wise to flie pain, professing next the Spie, Argues no Leader, but a lyar trac't, SATAN, and couldst thou faithful add?
Besides, what succour couldst thou have from me, a peaceful Pilgrim, against two armed heathens?
To the music of brays what harmonies couldst thou expect to get but cudgels?
Oh, second father," he exclaimed, "thou who hast given me liberty, knowledge, riches; thou who, like beings of a superior order to ourselves, couldst understand the science of good and evil; if in the depths of the tomb there still remain something within us which can respond to the voice of those who are left on earth; if after death the soul ever revisit the places where we have lived and suffered, -- then, noble heart, sublime soul, then I conjure thee by the paternal love thou didst bear me, by the filial obedience I vowed to thee, grant me some sign, some revelation
1] Thou art the man who couldst not abide the rule even of thine own corrupted church, and hast come hither to preach iniquity, and to give example of it in thy life.