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cannot

[kan-ot, ka-not, kuh-] /ˈkæn ɒt, kæˈnɒt, kə-/
verb
1.
a form of ·can not.
Idioms
2.
cannot but, have no alternative but to:
We cannot but choose otherwise.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English
Usage note
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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for can not but

cannot

/ˈkænɒt; kæˈnɒt/
verb
1.
an auxiliary verb expressing incapacity, inability, withholding permission, etc; can not
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for can not but

cannot

v.

c.1400, from can (v.1) + not. Old English expressed the notion by ne cunnan.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with can not but

cannot

see under can't
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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5
7
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