can't help

Also, can't help but or cannot but. Be unable to do otherwise. For example, I can't help thinking that the keys will turn up eventually, or He couldn't help but believe he would pass the entrance exam, or I cannot but applaud his efforts. The first of these phrases, can't help, is always followed by a present participle whereas the others take an infinitive. [c. 1700]


Nearby words

  1. can't abide,
  2. can't but,
  3. can't complain,
  4. can't do anything with,
  5. can't fight city hall,
  6. can't hit the broad side of a barn,
  7. can't hold a candle to,
  8. can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear,
  9. can't make head or tail of,
  10. can't punch one's way out of a paper bag

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.