can

2
[ kan ]
/ kæn /

noun

verb (used with object), canned, can·ning.

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ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PUNCTUATION QUIZ

Punctuation marks help make writing easy to read and understand. Some of the most important ones are the period (.), comma (,), question mark (?), and exclamation point (!). How well do you know how to use them? Find out in this quiz!
Question 1 of 10
Which punctuation mark is best for this sentence? "Can I watch a movie __"

Idioms for can

    carry the can, British and Canadian Slang. to take the responsibility.
    in the can, recorded on film; completed: The movie is in the can and ready for release.

Origin of can

2
before 1000; Middle English, Old English canne, cognate with German Kanne, Old Norse kanna, all perhaps < West Germanic; compare Late Latin canna small vessel
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for in the can (1 of 2)

can1
/ (kæn, unstressed kən) /

verb past could (takes an infinitive without to or an implied infinitive) (intr)

used as an auxiliary to indicate ability, skill, or fitness to perform a taskI can run a mile in under four minutes
used as an auxiliary to indicate permission or the right to somethingcan I have a drink?
used as an auxiliary to indicate knowledge of how to do somethinghe can speak three languages fluently
used as an auxiliary to indicate the possibility, opportunity, or likelihoodmy trainer says I can win the race if I really work hard

Word Origin for can

Old English cunnan; related to Old Norse kunna, Old High German kunnan, Latin cognōscere to know, Sanskrit jānāti he knows; see ken, uncouth

undefined can

See may 1

British Dictionary definitions for in the can (2 of 2)

can2
/ (kæn) /

noun

verb cans, canning or canned

Word Origin for can

Old English canne; related to Old Norse, Old High German kanna, Irish gann, Swedish kana sled
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Idioms and Phrases with in the can (1 of 2)

in the can

1

In the lavatory, as in He can't come to the phone; he's in the can. The related on the can means “sitting on the toilet.” The noun can is used for both the room and the toilet. [Slang; c. 1900]

2

Completed, as in About a hundred pages of her next book are in the can. This usage originated in filmmaking to describe a completed motion picture, when film was literally put into a can or canister. [Slang; c. 1930]

3

As an out-of-the-money finisher in a horse race, where a horse comes in fourth or worse. For example, He had no luck that day—every bet ended up in the can. [1960s]

Idioms and Phrases with in the can (2 of 2)

can

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