preserved in a can or jar:
canned peaches.
Informal. recorded:
canned music.
Informal. prepared in advance:
a canned speech.
Slang. drunk.
to be able to; have the ability, power, or skill to:
She can solve the problem easily, I’m sure.
to know how to:
He can play chess, although he’s not particularly good at it.
to have the power or means to:
A dictator can impose his will on the people.
to have the right or qualifications to:
He can change whatever he wishes in the script.
may; have permission to:
Can I speak to you for a moment?
to have the possibility:
A coin can land on either side.
Obsolete. to know.
a sealed container for food, beverages, etc., as of aluminum, sheet iron coated with tin, or other metal:
a can of soup.
a receptacle for garbage, ashes, etc.:
a trash can.
a bucket, pail, or other container for holding or carrying liquids:
water can.
a drinking cup; tankard.
a metal or plastic container for holding film on cores or reels.
Slang: Usually Vulgar. toilet; bathroom.
Slang. jail:
He’s been in the can for a week.
Slang: Sometimes Vulgar. buttocks.
Military Slang.

a depth charge.
a destroyer.

to preserve by sealing in a can, jar, etc.
Slang. to dismiss; fire.
Slang. to throw (something) away.
Slang. to put a stop to:
Can that noise!
to record, as on film or tape.
carry the can, British and Canadian Slang. to take the responsibility.
in the can, recorded on film; completed:
The movie is in the can and ready for release.
Contemporary Examples

Reichl’s Favorite Food Books The Browser August 10, 2011
This Week’s Best Reads David Sessions July 1, 2011
Russians Prepare for World’s End, Buy Candles and Vodka Anna Nemtsova December 10, 2012
Amanda Bynes Quits Hollywood: Behind Her Erratic Behavior Jacob Bernstein April 5, 2012
The Other Lenos Jon Caramanica September 12, 2009

Historical Examples

Standard Paper-Bag Cookery Emma Paddock Telford
Woman’s Institute Library of Cookery, Vol. 5 Woman’s Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences
The Hollow Tree and Deep Woods Book Albert Bigelow Paine
Woman’s Institute Library of Cookery, Vol. 5 Woman’s Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences
The Bungalow Boys North of Fifty-Three Dexter J. Forrester

preserved and stored in airtight cans or tins: canned meat
(informal) prepared or recorded in advance; artificial; not spontaneous: canned music
a slang word for drunk (sense 1)
verb (intransitive) (past) could takes an infinitive without to or an implied infinitive
used as an auxiliary to indicate ability, skill, or fitness to perform a task: I can run a mile in under four minutes
used as an auxiliary to indicate permission or the right to something: can I have a drink?
used as an auxiliary to indicate knowledge of how to do something: he can speak three languages fluently
used as an auxiliary to indicate the possibility, opportunity, or likelihood: my trainer says I can win the race if I really work hard
a container, esp for liquids, usually of thin sheet metal: a petrol can, beer can
another name (esp US) for tin (sense 2)
Also called canful. the contents of a can or the amount a can will hold
a slang word for prison
(US & Canadian) a slang word for toilet or buttocks See toilet
(US, navy) a slang word for destroyer
(navy, slang) a depth charge
a shallow cylindrical metal container of varying size used for storing and handling film
(informal) can of worms, a complicated problem
carry the can, See carry (sense 37)
in the can

(of a film, piece of music, etc) having been recorded, processed, edited, etc
(informal) arranged or agreed: the contract is almost in the can

verb cans, canning, canned
to put (food, etc) into a can or cans; preserve in a can
(transitive) (US, slang) to dismiss from a job
(transitive) (US, informal) to stop (doing something annoying or making an annoying noise) (esp in the phrase can it!)
(transitive) (informal) to reject or discard

(also canned up) Drunk: They was already pretty canned/ They got canned up a little more (1910+)
Recorded; played from a phonograph record or magnetic tape: canned music (1900+)
Not fresh for the occasion; kept for easy and general use: The candidate uttered one or two canned one-liners, to small effect (1890s+)
Filmed; completed •That is, put into one of the large flat circular tin cans used for holding movie film: That scene is already canned (1950s+ Movie studios)

A toilet; john •Said to be a shortening of pisscan (1900+)
The buttocks; rump; ass: And that’s when I asked her about her fat can (1910+)
A jail or prison; cell (1910+)
A destroyer; tin can (1930s+ Navy)
A hot rod (1950s+ Hot rodders)
An ounce of marijuana or other narcotic (1930s+ Narcotics)
canvasback duck: I know there are a lot of hunters here this weekend to try for cans (1990s+)

To discharge an employee; fire: He is not the first commentator to be canned by an editor (1905+)
To stop; cease, esp some objectionable behavior •Usu a stern command: Let’s can the noise (1906+)
: They caught him and canned him for two weeks
To score by throwing a basket: Shaq canned another 20-footer (1980s+ Basketball)

cancer (constellation)

can do with
can of worms


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Disclaimer: Canned definition / meaning should not be considered complete, up to date, and is not intended to be used in place of a visit, consultation, or advice of a legal, medical, or any other professional. All content on this website is for informational purposes only.