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  Dictionary Definition of can

can [1]
verb, present singular 1 can ; 2 can or ( Archaic ) canst ; 3 can ; pt. could.

-- auxiliary
1. to know how to; be able to; have the ability, power, right, qualifications, or means to: you can lift the box.
2. Colloquial may; have permission: can I speak to you a moment?
-- verb (t), verb (i)
3. Obsolete to know.
-- phrase
4. can do!, (an exclamation indicating that a request can be satisfactorily met).
5. no can do!, (an exclamation indicating that a request cannot be satisfactorily met).
[ME and OE cann, can, 1st and 3rd person sing. pres. ind. (pret. cuthe ) of cunnan, c. G können. Cf. KEN and KNOW ]