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[koo d-nt] /ˈkʊd nt/
contraction of could not.
Usage note Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for couldn't
  • We couldn't believe how simple it was to make these frozen treats.
  • It's not that such a moment, one that transforms an afternoon walk into a lifelong memory, couldn't happen in another town.
  • The city managers couldn't make their budget and eliminated financing for the local museum, the symphony and the senior center.
  • The ironic clash of high price and cheap subject matter couldn't be louder.
  • She aspired to something more artistic, but found she couldn't draw.
  • couldn't agree more with the last para of this article.
  • But this time the department couldn't afford to offer the candidates its usual star treatment.
  • None of my co-authors are attending the meeting so they couldn't present the work.
  • couldn't sign things for players or scouts or anybody.
  • Papers of the length you describe couldn't possibly meet that time limit.
British Dictionary definitions for couldn't


could 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 couldn't

by 1670s, contraction of could + not.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with couldn't


In addition to the idioms beginning with couldn't couldn't care less also see: hurt a flea, couldn't also 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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