contraction of could not.

See care, contraction. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
couldn't (ˈkʊdənt)
contraction of
could not

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

by 1673, contraction of could + not.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


In addition to the idioms beginning with couldn't, also see hurt a flea, couldn't. Also see under can't.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
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.
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