can not but

cannot

[kan-ot, ka-not, kuh-]
verb
1.
a form of ·can not.
Idioms
2.
cannot but, have no alternative but to: We cannot but choose otherwise.

Origin:
1350–1400; Middle English


Cannot is sometimes also spelled can not. The one-word spelling is by far the more common: Interest rates simply cannot continue at their present level. The contraction can't is most common in speech and informal writing. See also can1.
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World English Dictionary
cannot (ˈkænɒt, kæˈnɒt)
 
vb
an auxiliary verb expressing incapacity, inability, withholding permission, etc; can not

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

cannot
c.1400, from can (v.) + not. O.E. expressed the notion by ne cunnan.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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