CAN'T


CAN'T
contr. can not.

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\\ˈkant, -aa(ə)-, -ai-; esp S -ā-; esp NewEng & Brit -ȧ-, -ä-; sporadically -e-\
Etymology: by contraction
: can not

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/kant, kahnt/
contraction of cannot.
Usage. See can1, cannot, contraction.

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can't contraction of ↑cannot

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can’t UK [kɑːnt] US [kænt] short form
the usual way of saying or writing cannot . This is not often used in formal writing

Can’t you come a little earlier?

They can’t be serious!

Thesaurus: short formshyponym

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cant1 «kant», noun, adjective, verb.
–n.
1. talk that is not sincere; moral or religious statements that many people make, but few really believe or act upon: »

Clear your mind of cant (Samuel Johnson).

SYNONYM(S): hypocrisy.
2. the peculiar language of a special group, using many strange words; argot: »

“Jug” is one of the words for “jail” in thieves' cant.

3. the special language and idiom of a trade, craft, or profession; jargon: »

the cant of the psychologists.

4. stock phrases and expressions fashionable at a particular time or among a group or class of society: »

the cant of café society.

5. a whining manner of speaking, especially as adopted by beggars; whine.
–adj.
1. peculiar to a special language: »

cant words of thieves.

2. used for the sake of fashion; affected: »

to borrow a cant phrase.

3. marked by affected piety; insincere.
–v.i.
1. to use cant; talk in cant.
2. to speak in the manner of a beggar; whine; beg.
–v.t.
to use (expressions) merely because they are fashionable; say for fashion's sake: »

I have heard the same cant canted about a much finer building (Macaulay).

[< Latin cantus song. See etym. of doublets canto (Cf.canto), cantus. (Cf.cantus)]
cant2 «kant», noun, verb, adjective.
–n.
1. a sloping, slanting, or tilted position; lean; inclination: »

The ship took on a dangerous cant to starboard.

2. a sudden pitch or toss which causes a person or thing to overturn or fall.
3. a turning or tilting movement: »

Fortune's wheel made suddenly a great cant (Thomas Carlyle).

4. an oblique line or surface, such as cuts off the corner of a square or a cube or forms the slanting face of a bank, hill, or the like: »

up the cant of the rock face.

5. Obsolete. a corner of a building; quoin.
–v.t.
1. to give a slant or slope to; bevel: »

He canted the edges of a board.

2. to put into a slanting position; tip; tilt; incline: »

The wind canted the ship to port. The sea broke in upon us, and the canoe being half full, canted her broadside to it (Archibald Duncan).

3. to pitch or throw with a sudden jerk: »

The horse canted his rider into the stream.

–v.i.
1. to tilt, pitch on one side, or turn over: »

The sailboat canted over in the storm. The stone platform collapsed and the building canted over (L. L. Green).

2. to have a slanting position or direction; slope.
3. to swing away from a course or direction: »

The ship canted across the narrow channel and ran aground.

–adj.
1. having canted corners or edges.
2. tilted from the perpendicular or the horizontal; sloping.
[probably < Middle Dutch cant < Old French < Vulgar Latin cantus corner, edge < Latin, tire of a wheel < Celtic (compare Welsh cant rim of a circle)]
cant3 «kant», adjective.
British Dialect. lively; merry; brisk: »

... as cant as a kitling (Evelyn Waugh).

[probably a variant of canty]
can't «kant, kahnt», verb.
cannot or can not.
Usage can't, mayn't. Can't almost universally takes the place of the awkward mayn't: »

Can't I go now?

can't help (but). In spite of the objection that it involves double negation, can't (or cannot) help but is the established informal usage: »

I can't help but feel sorry about it.

In more formal usage this would be: »

I cannot (or can't) help feeling sorry about it or I cannot but feel sorry about it.

Cant.,
1. Canterbury.
2. Canticles.

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[kant]
contraction of cannot

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/ˈkænt, Brit ˈkɑːnt/
— used as a contraction of cannot

I can't do it.

usage see ↑cannot

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can't [can't] [kɑːnt] [kænt] short form
cannot

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can't
(kɑːnt)
a colloq. contraction of cannot; see can v.1 A 1.

Useful english dictionary. 2012.

Look at other dictionaries:

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