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8 Words That Are Older Than You Think

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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Examples from the web for cannot
  • Germans have learned after decades of fighting their expression that the ideas behind them cannot be outlawed.
  • Student life needs certain autonomy and cannot be organized educationally as strictly accountable activities.
  • So they can consume many of the long-lived radioactive materials that thermal reactors cannot.
  • Though they cannot fly, ostriches are fleet, strong runners.
  • As the world warms up, some species cannot move to cooler climes in time to survive.
  • You've become at an expert at identifying what plastics you can and cannot recycle.
  • Seeds cannot germinate until certain favorable environmental conditions are met.
  • The blimp cannot fly where there is risk of snow and has difficulty transiting over mountains.
  • Cholera outbreaks seem to be on the increase, but a new study has found they cannot be explained by global warming.
  • Today you cannot order a coffee, buy a bagel, or pay for a photocopy without being asked to leave your change behind for.
British Dictionary definitions for cannot

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 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 cannot

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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Word Value for cannot

8
11
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