Note: these 'words' (valid or invalid) are all the permutations of the word can. These words are obtained by scrambling the letters in can.
Definitions and meaning of can
From Middle Englishcan, first and third person singular of connen, cunnen(“to be able, know how”), from Old Englishcan(n), first and third person singular of cunnan(“to know how”), from Proto-Germanic*kunnaną, from Proto-Indo-European*ǵneh₃- (whence know). Compare West Frisiankinne, Dutchkunnen, Low Germankönen, Germankönnen, Danish and Norwegian Bokmålkunne, Swedish and Norwegian Nynorskkunna, and Afrikaanskan. Doublet of con. See also: canny, cunning.
can (third-person singular simple presentcan, no present participle, simple pastcould, past participle(obsolete except in adjectival use)couth)
(auxiliary verb, defective) To know how to; to be able to.
Synonym:be able to
Antonyms:cannot, can't, can’t
1449, Reginald Pecock, Represser of over-much weeting [blaming] of the Clergie
prouyng which eny clerk can or woel or mai make bi eny maner euydence of resoun or of Scripture, and namelich of resoun into the contrarie.
(modal auxiliary verb, defective, informal) May; to be permitted or enabled to.
(modal auxiliary verb, defective) To have the potential to; be possible.
(auxiliary verb, defective)Used with verbs of perception.
(obsolete, transitive) To know.
Synonyms:cognize, grok, ken
ca.1360-1387, William Langland, Piers Plowman
I can rimes of Robin Hood.
ca.1360-1387, William Langland, Piers Plowman
I can no Latin, quod she.
For missing forms, substitute inflected forms of be able to, as:
I might be able to go.
I was able to go yesterday.
I have been able to go, since I was seven.
I had been able to go before.
I will be able to go tomorrow.
The word could also suffices in many tenses. “I would be able to go” is equivalent to “I could go”, and “I was unable to go” can be rendered “I could not go”. (Unless there is a clear indication otherwise, “could verb” means “would be able to verb”, but “could not verb” means “was/were unable to verb”.)
The present tense negative can not is usually contracted to cannot (more formal) or can’t (less formal).
The use of can in asking permission sometimes is criticized as being impolite or incorrect by those who favour the more formal alternative “may I...?”.
Can is sometimes used rhetorically to issue a command, placing the command in the form of a request. For instance, “Can you hand me that pen?” as a polite substitution for “Hand me that pen.”
Some US dialects that glottalize the final /t/ in can’t (/kæn(ʔ)/), in order to differentiate can’t from can, pronounce can as /kɛn/ even when stressed.
Appendix:English modal verbs
Appendix:English tag questions
From Middle Englishcanne, from Old Englishcanne(“glass, container, cup, can”), from Proto-Germanic*kannǭ(“can, tankard, mug, cup”), perhaps from Proto-Indo-European*gan-, *gandʰ-(“a vessel”). Cognate with Scotscan(“can”), West Frisiankanne(“a jug, pitcher”), Dutchkan(“pot, mug”), GermanKanne(“can, tankard, mug”), Danishkande(“can, mug, a measure”), Swedishkanna(“can, tankard, mug”), Icelandickanna(“a can”).
(Received Pronunciation, General American) enPR: kăn, IPA(key): /ˈkæn/
A more or less cylindrical vessel for liquids, usually of steel or aluminium, but sometimes of plastic, and with a carrying handle over the top.
A container used to carry and dispense water for plants (a watering can).
A tin-plate canister, often cylindrical, for preserved foods such as fruit, meat, or fish.
(archaic) A chamber pot, now (US, slang) a toilet or lavatory.
Shit or get off the can.
Bob's in the can. You can wait a few minutes or just leave it with me.
(US, slang) Buttocks.
(slang) Jail or prison.
Bob's in the can. He won't be back for a few years.
(slang, in the plural) Headphones.
(archaic) A drinking cup.
?, Alfred Tennyson, Vision of Sin
Fill the cup and fill the can, / Have a rouse before the morn.
(nautical) A cube-shaped buoy or marker used to denote a port-side lateral mark
A chimney pot.
(slang, in the plural) An E-meter used in Scientology auditing.
(US, slang) An ounce (or sometimes, two ounces) of marijuana.
For quotations using this term, see Citations:can.
1970, California. Supreme Court, Reports of Cases Determined in the Supreme Court of the State of California
[…] prosecution for selling and giving away marijuana, the evidence clearly constituted substantial proof that a package purchased by defendant contained marijuana where he requested "four cans" of marijuana to be delivered to himself and […]
A protective cover for the fuel element in a nuclear reactor.
English transcriptions of Mandarin speech often fail to distinguish between the critical tonal differences employed in the Mandarin language, using words such as this one without the appropriate indication of tone.
first/third-person singular present indicative of connen
From Latincanis(“dog”), from Proto-Indo-European*ḱwṓ(“dog”).
13th century, Cancioneiro da Biblioteca Nacional, Alfonso X of Castile, B 476: Non quer'eu donzela fea (facsimile)
Non quereu donzela fea / E ueloſa come cam
I do not want an ugly maiden, as hairy as a dog
From Middle Englishcan, first and third person singular of connen, cunnen(“to be able, know how”), from Old Englishcan(n), first and third person singular of cunnan(“to know how”), from Proto-West Germanic*kunnan, from Proto-Germanic*kunnaną, from Proto-Indo-European*ǵneh₃- (whence know).
can (third-person singular presentcan, pastcud)
be able to
From Old Irishcanaid(“to sing”), from Proto-Celtic*kaneti(“to sing”), from Proto-Indo-European*keh₂n-. Compare Welshcanu, Latincanō, Ancient Greekκαναχέω(kanakhéō), Persianخواندن (xândan).
can (pastchan, futurecanaidh, verbal nouncantainn, past participlecante)
“can” in Edward Dwelly, Faclair Gàidhlig gu Beurla le Dealbhan/The Illustrated [Scottish] Gaelic–English Dictionary, 10th edition, Edinburgh: Birlinn Limited, 1911, →ISBN.
From Latincanis, canem, from Proto-Italic*kō (accusative *kwanem), from Proto-Indo-European*ḱwṓ (accusative *ḱwónm̥). Compare Catalanca, Occitancan, Frenchchien, Italiancane, Portuguesecão, Romaniancâine and Aromaniancãne, cãni.
IPA(key): /ˈkan/, [ˈkãn]
(formal) dog, hound
“can” in Diccionario de la lengua española, Vigésima tercera edición, Real Academia Española, 2014.
From Ottoman Turkishجان, from Persianجان (jân, “soul, vital spirit, life”).
can (definite accusativecanı, pluralcanlar)
soul, life, being
From Latincanis, canem.
(Hà Nội) IPA(key): [kaːn˧˧]
(Huế) IPA(key): [kaːŋ˧˧]
(Hồ Chí Minh City) IPA(key): [kaːŋ˧˧]
Sino-Vietnamese word from 肝.
Sino-Vietnamese word from 干.
Short for Thiên Can(“celestial stem”).
to concern; to apply to
to be involved (in); to be implicated (in)
Non-Sino-Vietnamese reading of Chinese諫(SV: gián).
to dissuade (someone from doing something); to intervene
(classifiercây, cái) can
to join; to unite; to sew together
to trace (through translucent paper), to do tracing
can (nominative pluralcans)
sales commodity, merchandise, wares
Ultimately from Proto-Indo-European*(s)kand-(“to shine, glow”).
See also Ancient Greekκάνδαρος(kándaros, “charcoal”), Albanianhënë(“moon”), Sanskritचन्द्र(candrá, “shining”) and Old Armenianխանդ(xand).
can (feminine singularcan, pluralcan, equativecanned, comparativecannach, superlativecannaf)
cannu(“to bleach, to whiten”)
From Proto-Celtic*kantom(“hundred”), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European*ḱm̥tóm.
This is the form the number cant(“hundred”) takes when it precedes a noun.
R. J. Thomas, G. A. Bevan, P. J. Donovan, A. Hawke et al., editors (1950–present), “can”, in Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru Online (in Welsh), University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh & Celtic Studies