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can2

[kan] /kæn/
noun
1.
a sealed container for food, beverages, etc., as of aluminum, sheet iron coated with tin, or other metal:
a can of soup.
2.
a receptacle for garbage, ashes, etc.:
a trash can.
3.
a bucket, pail, or other container for holding or carrying liquids:
water can.
4.
a drinking cup; tankard.
5.
a metal or plastic container for holding film on cores or reels.
6.
Slang: Usually Vulgar. toilet; bathroom.
7.
Slang. jail:
He's been in the can for a week.
8.
Slang: Sometimes Vulgar. buttocks.
9.
Military Slang.
  1. a depth charge.
  2. a destroyer.
verb (used with object), canned, canning.
10.
to preserve by sealing in a can, jar, etc.
11.
Slang. to dismiss; fire.
12.
Slang. to throw (something) away.
13.
Slang. to put a stop to:
Can that noise!
14.
to record, as on film or tape.
Idioms
15.
carry the can, British and Canadian Slang. to take the responsibility.
16.
in the can, recorded on film; completed:
The movie is in the can and ready for release.
Origin
1000
before 1000; Middle English, Old English canne, cognate with German Kanne, Old Norse kanna, all perhaps < West Germanic; compare Late Latin canna small vessel
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for in the can
  • Put the can on a gas ring flame for five minutes until gas is emitted by the hole in the can.
  • None may have a bigger effect than chucking ever more people in the can.
  • Add the tomatoes, including any sauce in the can, with the basil and fennel.
  • But he was too busy putting the film in the can to really create any merchandising strategy.
  • As the pieces cool, a chemical reaction happens between the metals in the molten glazes and the burning elements in the can.
  • By making sure they have what they need in the can, the filmmakers give themselves room to play.
  • If the state wants to ban this stuff maybe they should look at whether the ingredients in the can match what's on the label.
  • They are the ones who decide how tight to pack the sardines in the can.
  • So there are two more movies in the can and the fourth one.
  • If only a little paint is left, place plenty of newspaper in the can to soak up the paint.
British Dictionary definitions for in the can

can1

/kæn; unstressed kən/
verb (intransitive) (past) could takes an infinitive without to or an implied infinitive
1.
used as an auxiliary to indicate ability, skill, or fitness to perform a task: I can run a mile in under four minutes
2.
used as an auxiliary to indicate permission or the right to something: can I have a drink?
3.
used as an auxiliary to indicate knowledge of how to do something: he can speak three languages fluently
4.
used as an auxiliary to indicate the possibility, opportunity, or likelihood: my trainer says I can win the race if I really work hard
Word Origin
Old English cunnan; related to Old Norse kunna, Old High German kunnan, Latin cognōscere to know, Sanskrit jānāti he knows; see ken, uncouth

can2

/kæn/
noun
1.
a container, esp for liquids, usually of thin sheet metal: a petrol can, beer can
2.
another name (esp US) for tin (sense 2)
3.
Also called canful. the contents of a can or the amount a can will hold
4.
a slang word for prison
5.
(US & Canadian) a slang word for toilet or buttocks See toilet
6.
(US, navy) a slang word for destroyer
7.
(navy, slang) a depth charge
8.
a shallow cylindrical metal container of varying size used for storing and handling film
9.
(informal) can of worms, a complicated problem
10.
carry the can, See carry (sense 37)
11.
in the can
  1. (of a film, piece of music, etc) having been recorded, processed, edited, etc
  2. (informal) arranged or agreed: the contract is almost in the can
verb cans, canning, canned
12.
to put (food, etc) into a can or cans; preserve in a can
13.
(transitive) (US, slang) to dismiss from a job
14.
(transitive) (US, informal) to stop (doing something annoying or making an annoying noise) (esp in the phrase can it!)
15.
(transitive) (informal) to reject or discard
Word Origin
Old English canne; related to Old Norse, Old High German kanna, Irish gann, Swedish kana sled
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 in the can

can

v.

Old English 1st & 3rd person singular present indicative of cunnan "know, have power to, be able," (also "to have carnal knowledge"), from Proto-Germanic *kunnan "to be mentally able, to have learned" (cf. Old Norse kenna "to know, make known," Old Frisian kanna "to recognize, admit," German kennen "to know," Gothic kannjan "to make known"), from PIE root *gno- (see know).

Absorbing the third sense of "to know," that of "to know how to do something" (in addition to "to know as a fact" and "to be acquainted with" something or someone). An Old English preterite-present verb, its original past participle, couth, survived only in its negation (see uncouth), but cf. could. The present participle has spun off as cunning.

"to put up in cans," 1860, from can (n.1). Sense of "to fire an employee" is from 1905. Related: Canned; canning.

n.

Old English canne "a cup, container," from Proto-Germanic *kanna (cf. Old Saxon, Old Norse, Swedish kanna, Middle Dutch kanne, Dutch kan, Old High German channa, German Kanne). Probably an early borrowing from Late Latin canna "container, vessel," from Latin canna "reed," also "reed pipe, small boat;" but the sense evolution is difficult.

Modern "air-tight vessel of tinned iron" is from 1867 (can-opener is from 1877). Slang meaning "toilet" is c.1900, said to be a shortening of piss-can. Meaning "buttocks" is from c.1910.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for in the can

in the can

adjective phrase

Successfully finished; ready for release, consumption, etc

[1940s+ Movie studio; fr the large, flat, circular tin can into which finished movie film is put]


can

noun
  1. A toilet; john •Said to be a shortening of pisscan (1900+)
  2. The buttocks; rump; ass: And that's when I asked her about her fat can (1910+)
  3. A jail or prison; cell (1910+)
  4. A destroyer; tin can (1930s+ Navy)
  5. A hot rod (1950s+ Hot rodders)
  6. An ounce of marijuana or other narcotic (1930s+ Narcotics)
  7. canvasback duck: I know there are a lot of hunters here this weekend to try for cans (1990s+)
verb
  1. To discharge an employee; fire: He is not the first commentator to be canned by an editor (1905+)
  2. To stop; cease, esp some objectionable behavior •Usu a stern command: Let's can the noise (1906+)
  3. : They caught him and canned him for two weeks
  4. To score by throwing a basket: Shaq canned another 20-footer (1980s+ Basketball)
Related Terms

ash can, get a can on, in the can, kicking can, shitcan, tie a can on someone, tin can


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Related Abbreviations for in the can

CAN

cancer (constellation)
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Idioms and Phrases with in the can

in the can

.
In the lavatory, as in He can't come to the phone; he's in the can. The related on the can means “sitting on the toilet.” The noun can is used for both the room and the toilet. [ ; c. 1900 ]
.
Completed, as in About a hundred pages of her next book are in the can. This usage originated in filmmaking to describe a completed motion picture, when film was literally put into a can or canister. [ ; c. 1930 ]
.
As an out-of-the-money finisher in a horse race, where a horse comes in fourth or worse. For example, He had no luck that day—every bet ended up in the can. [ 1960s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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