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can - definition and synonyms

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noun [countable]     can pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
  1. 1
    a closed metal container with round sides, for food or drinks. It is opened with a can opener. In British English the word tin is usually used if a can contains food, but not if it contains a drink

    empty beer cans

    a can of beans/soda

    1. a.
      a metal container with round sides and a lid, used especially for holding liquids

      There’s a little paint left in the can.

    2. c.
      the amount of food, drink, paint etc that a metal container holds
      can of:

      Add two cans of tomatoes to the sauce and stir.

  2. 2

    the can

    American informal a prison
  3. 3

    the can

    American informal a toilet
    Synonyms and related words
  4. From our crowdsourced Open Dictionary
    kick the can down the road to delay dealing with a serious problem in the hope that it will go away

    You can't solve a debt problem with more debt. European leaders are just kicking the can down the road.

    Submitted from United Kingdom on 11/07/2012


a lifestyle focussing on simple pleasures such as comfort and cosiness in the home, and spending time with friends and family

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a form of location that involves the underwater detonation of a bomb which causes sound waves that are picked up by ships

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