Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “can”

can

noun [C]  /kæn/ us  

can noun [C] (CONTAINER)

a metal container, esp. a closed, cylindrical container in which food and drink are packaged: a gas/watering can The vending machine has soda in cans. A can is also the amount of food or drink that a can holds: I had a can of soup for lunch.

can

verb [T]  /kæn/ (-nn-) us  

can verb [T] (CONTAIN)

to preserve food by putting it into a can or into a jar (= glass container) from which the air is removed: They can all kinds of fruit. slang If you get canned, you are dismissed from your job: No, I’m not on vacation – I got canned last week.
(Definition of can noun, verb from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of can?
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Possible and probable, but you might be interested in these topics from the Chance and possibility topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “can” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

throw

to send something through the air with force, especially by a sudden movement of the arm

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More