Definition of

Can

  1. (noun, artifact) airtight sealed metal container for food or drink or paint etc.
  2. (noun, artifact) a room or building equipped with one or more toilets
  3. (noun, artifact) a plumbing fixture for defecation and urination
  4. (noun, body) the fleshy part of the human body that you sit on
    are you going to sit on your fanny and do nothing?
  5. (noun, communication) a buoy with a round bottom and conical top
  6. (noun, quantity) the quantity contained in a can
  7. (verb, change) preserve in a can or tin
  8. (verb, social) terminate the employment of; discharge from an office or position
    The company terminated 25% of its workers

via WordNet, Princeton University

Origin of the word Can

  1. O.E. 1st & 3rd pers. sing. pres. indic. of cunnan "know, have power to, be able," (also "to have carnal knowledge"), from P.Gmc. *kunnan "to be mentally able, to have learned" (cf. O.N. kenna "to know, make known," O.Fris. kanna "to recognize, admit," Ger. kennen "to know," Goth. kannjan "to make known"), from PIE base *gno- (see… more
  2. O.E. canne "a cup, container," from P.Gmc. *kanna, probably an early borrowing from L.L. canna "container, vessel," from L. canna "reed," but the sense evolution is difficult. Modern "air-tight vessel of tinned iron" is from 1867; can-opener is from 1877; the verb meaning "to put up in cans" is attested from 1871. Slang meaning "toilet" is c.1… more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

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