can-do (adj.) Look up can-do at Dictionary.com
by 1952, from expression can do "it is possible," literally "(I or we) can do (it)," 1903, perhaps based on earlier no can do (see no).
Canaan Look up Canaan at Dictionary.com
ancient name of a land lying between the Jordan and the Mediterranean, conquered by the Israelites, so called from Canaan, son of Ham (Gen. x.15-19). Related: Canaanite. In the Apostle name Simon the Canaanite it is a transliteration of an Aramaic name meaning "zealot."
Canada Look up Canada at Dictionary.com
1560s (implied in Canadian), said to be a Latinized form of a word for "village" in an Iroquoian language of the St. Lawrence valley that had gone extinct by 1600. Most still-spoken Iroquoian languages have a similar word (such as Mohawk kana:ta "town").

In early 18c. Canada meant French Canada, Quebec. The British colonies (including the American colonies) were British America. After 1791 the remainder of British America was Upper Canada (the English part), Lower Canada (the French part), New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and, separately, Newfoundland. An act of Parliament in 1840 merged Upper and Lower Canada, and in 1867 the Dominion of Canada was created from the British colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick. Canada goose is attested from 1772.
Canadian (adj.) Look up Canadian at Dictionary.com
"pertaining to Canada," 1560s; see Canada. Also as a noun, "native or inhabitant of Canada."
Canadianism (n.) Look up Canadianism at Dictionary.com
1875, from Canadian + -ism.
canaille (n.) Look up canaille at Dictionary.com
"the rabble, the lowest order of people collectively," from French canaille (16c.), from Italian canaglia, literally "a pack of dogs," from cane "dog," from Latin canis (from PIE root *kwon- "dog").
canal (n.) Look up canal at Dictionary.com
"artificial waterway for irrigation or navigation," early 15c., from French canal, chanel "water channel, tube, pipe, gutter" (12c.), from Latin canalis "water pipe, groove, channel," noun use of adjective from canna "reed" (see cane (n.)). Originally in English "a pipe for liquid," its sense transferred by 1670s to "artificial waterway." Also used in anatomy for channels through which fluids or solids pass.
canard (n.) Look up canard at Dictionary.com
"absurd or fabricated story intended as an imposition," before 1850, from French canard "a hoax," literally "a duck" (from Old French quanart, probably echoic of a duck's quack); said by Littré to be from the phrase vendre un canard à moitié "to half-sell a duck," thus, perhaps from some long-forgotten joke, "to cheat." But also compare quack (n.1).
canary (n.) Look up canary at Dictionary.com
type of small songbird, 1650s (short for Canary-bird, 1570s), from French canarie, from Spanish canario "canary bird," literally "of the Canary Islands" (where it is indigenous), from Latin Insula Canaria "Canary Island," largest of the Fortunate Isles, literally "island of dogs" (canis, derived adjective canarius, from PIE root *kwon- "dog").

Supposedly so called "from its multitude of dogs of a huge size" (Pliny), but perhaps this is folk-etymology, and the name might instead be that of the Canarii, a Berber people who lived near the coast of Morocco opposite the island and might have settled on it. The name was extended to the whole island group (Canariæ Insulæ) by the time of Arnobius (c.300). As a type of wine (from the Canary Islands) from 1580s.
canasta (n.) Look up canasta at Dictionary.com
1948, Uruguayan card game played with two decks and four jokers, popular c. 1945-1965; from Spanish, literally "basket," from Latin canistrum (see cannister); perhaps in reference to the "packs" of cards used.
Canberra Look up Canberra at Dictionary.com
capital of Australia, 1826, from Aborigine nganbirra "meeting place."
cancan (n.) Look up cancan at Dictionary.com
also can-can, "A kind of dance performed in low resorts by men and women, who indulge in extravagant postures and lascivious gestures" [Century Dictionary, 1895], 1848, from French, a slang or cant term possibly from can, a French children's word for "duck" (see canard), via some notion of "waddling" too obscure or obscene to attempt to disentangle here. Or perhaps from French cancan (16c.) "noise, disturbance," echoic of quacking.
cancel (v.) Look up cancel at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "cross out with lines, draw lines across (something written) so as to deface," from Anglo-French and Old French canceler, from Latin cancellare "to make like a lattice," which in Late Latin took on especially a sense "cross out something written" by marking it with crossed lines, from cancelli, plural of *cancellus (n.) "lattice, grating," diminutive of cancer "crossed bars, a lattice," a variant of carcer "prison" (see incarceration).

Figurative use, "to nullify (an obligation, etc.)" is from mid-15c. Related: Canceled (also cancelled); cancelling.
cancellation (n.) Look up cancellation at Dictionary.com
also cancelation, "act of cancelling," 1530s, from Latin cancellationem (nominative cancellatio), noun of action from past participle stem of cancellare "to cancel" (see cancel). Of reservations for conveyances, hotels, etc., from 1953.
cancer (n.) Look up cancer at Dictionary.com
Old English cancer "spreading sore, cancer" (also canceradl), from Latin cancer "a crab," later, "malignant tumor," from Greek karkinos, which, like the Modern English word, has three meanings: crab, tumor, and the zodiac constellation (late Old English), from PIE root *qarq- "to be hard" (like the shell of a crab); source also of Sanskrit karkatah "crab," karkarah "hard;" and perhaps cognate with PIE root *qar-tu- "hard, strong," source of English hard.

Greek physicians Hippocrates and Galen, among others, noted similarity of crabs to some tumors with swollen veins. Meaning "person born under the zodiac sign of Cancer" is from 1894. The sun being in Cancer at the summer solstice, the constellation had association in Latin writers with the south and with summer heat. Cancer stick "cigarette" is from 1959.
cancerous (adj.) Look up cancerous at Dictionary.com
1560s, from cancer + -ous.
candela (n.) Look up candela at Dictionary.com
unit of luminous intensity, 1950, from Latin candela (see candle).
candelabrum (n.) Look up candelabrum at Dictionary.com
1811, from Latin candelabrum, which meant "candlestick," from candela (see candle). Old English had candeltreow "candle-tree" in same sense. The word was borrowed earlier (late 14c.) from Old French as chaundelabre with the Latin sense. Candelabra is the Latin plural.
candescent (adj.) Look up candescent at Dictionary.com
1824, from Latin candescentem (nominative candescens), present participle of candescere "to become white, begin to gleam," inchoative of candere "to shine, to glow" (see candle).
candid (adj.) Look up candid at Dictionary.com
1620s, "white," from Latin candidum "white; pure; sincere, honest, upright," from candere "to shine," from PIE root *kand- "to glow, to shine" (see candle). In English, metaphoric extension to "frank" first recorded 1670s (compare French candide "open, frank, ingenuous, sincere"). Of photography, 1929. Related: Candidly; candidness.
candidacy (n.) Look up candidacy at Dictionary.com
1822; see candidate + -cy.
candidate (n.) Look up candidate at Dictionary.com
c. 1600s, from Latin candidatus "one aspiring to office," originally "white-robed," past participle of candidare "to make white or bright," from candidus past participle of candere "to shine," from PIE root *kand- "to glow, to shine" (see candle). Office-seekers in ancient Rome wore white togas.
candied (adj.) Look up candied at Dictionary.com
c. 1600, past participle adjective from candy (v.).
candle (n.) Look up candle at Dictionary.com
Old English candel "lamp, lantern, candle," an early ecclesiastical borrowing from Latin candela "a light, torch, candle made of tallow or wax," from candere "to shine," from PIE root *kand- "to glow, to shine, to shoot out light" (source also of Sanskrit cand- "to give light, shine," candra- "shining, glowing, moon;" Greek kandaros "coal;" Welsh cann "white;" Middle Irish condud "fuel").

Candles were unknown in ancient Greece (where oil lamps sufficed), but common from early times among Romans and Etruscans. Candles on birthday cakes seems to have been originally a German custom. To hold a candle to originally meant "to help in a subordinate capacity," from the notion of an assistant or apprentice holding a candle for light while the master works (compare Old English taporberend "acolyte"). To burn the candle at both ends is recorded from 1730.
candlelight (n.) Look up candlelight at Dictionary.com
Old English candelleoht; from candle + light (n.).
Candlemass Look up Candlemass at Dictionary.com
Old English candelmæsse (from candle + mass (n.2)), feast of the purification of the Virgin Mary (Feb. 2), celebrated with many candles, corresponding to Celtic pagan Imbolc.
candlestick (n.) Look up candlestick at Dictionary.com
Old English candelsticca; see candle + stick (n.).
candor (n.) Look up candor at Dictionary.com
"openness of mind, impartiality, frankness," c. 1600, from Latin candor "purity, openness," originally "whiteness," from candere "to shine, to be white" (see candle). Borrowed earlier in English (c. 1500) with the Latin literal sense "extreme whiteness."
candour (n.) Look up candour at Dictionary.com
chiefly British English spelling of candor (q.v.); for spelling, see -or.
candy (n.) Look up candy at Dictionary.com
late 13c., "crystalized sugar," from Old French çucre candi "sugar candy," ultimately from Arabic qandi, from Persian qand "cane sugar," probably from Sanskrit khanda "piece (of sugar)," perhaps from Dravidian (compare Tamil kantu "candy," kattu "to harden, condense").
candy (v.) Look up candy at Dictionary.com
1530s, from candy (n.). Related: Candied; candying.
candy-striper (n.) Look up candy-striper at Dictionary.com
young female volunteer nurse at a hospital, by 1962, so called from the pink-striped design of her uniform, similar to patterns on peppermint candy.
candyass Look up candyass at Dictionary.com
also candy-ass, 1961, from candy (n.) + ass (n.2). Perhaps originally U.S. military.
cane (n.) Look up cane at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French cane "reed, cane, spear" (13c., Modern French canne), from Latin canna "reed, cane," from Greek kanna, perhaps from Assyrian qanu "tube, reed" (compare Hebrew qaneh, Arabic qanah "reed"), from Sumerian gin "reed." But Tucker finds this borrowing "needless" and proposes a native Indo-European formation from a root meaning "to bind, bend." Sense of "walking stick" in English is 1580s.
cane (v.) Look up cane at Dictionary.com
"to beat with a walking stick," 1660s, from cane (n.). Related: Caned; caning.
canebreak (n.) Look up canebreak at Dictionary.com
1770, American English, from cane (n.) + break (n.).
Canfield (n.) Look up Canfield at Dictionary.com
type of solitaire, 1912, from U.S. gambler J.A. Canfield (1855-1914).
canicular (adj.) Look up canicular at Dictionary.com
late 14c., in reference to the "dog days," from Latin canicularis "pertaining to the dog days," from canicula "little dog," also "the Dog Star," diminutive of canis (from PIE root *kwon- "dog"). Also see heliacal; Sirius. In literal use ("pertaining to a dog") historically only as attempt at humor.
canid (n.) Look up canid at Dictionary.com
member of the Canidae family (dogs, wolves, foxes, jackals), 1889, from Modern Latin Canidae, from Latin canis "dog" (from PIE root *kwon- "dog") + -idae.
canine (adj.) Look up canine at Dictionary.com
c. 1600, of teeth, from canine (n.) or Latin caninus. Meaning "pertaining to a dog or dogs" is from 1620s.
canine (n.) Look up canine at Dictionary.com
"pointed tooth," late 14c., from Latin caninus "of the dog," genitive of canis "dog" (source of Italian cane, French chien), from PIE root *kwon- "dog." The noun meaning "dog" is first recorded 1869.
canister (n.) Look up canister at Dictionary.com
late 15c., "basket," from Latin canistrum "wicker basket" for bread, fruit, flowers, etc., from Greek kanystron "basket made from reed," from kanna (see cane (n.)). It came to mean "metal receptacle" (1711) through influence of can (n.). As short for canister shot, it is attested from 1801, so called for its casing.
canker (n.) Look up canker at Dictionary.com
late Old English cancer "spreading ulcer, cancerous tumor," from Latin cancer "malignant tumor," literally "crab" (see cancer); influenced in Middle English by Old North French cancre "canker, sore, abscess" (Old French chancre, Modern French chancre). The word was the common one for "cancer" until c. 1700. Also used since 15c. of caterpillars and insect larvae that eat plant buds and leaves. As a verb from late 14c. Related: Cankered; cankerous. Canker blossom is recorded from 1580s.
cannabis (n.) Look up cannabis at Dictionary.com
1798, "common hemp," from Cannabis, Modern Latin plant genus named (1728), from Greek kannabis "hemp," a Scythian or Thracian word. Also source of Armenian kanap', Albanian kanep, Russian konoplja, Persian kanab, Lithuanian kanapes "hemp," and English canvas and possibly hemp. In reference to use of the plant parts as an intoxicant, from 1848. Related: Cannabic.
canned (adj.) Look up canned at Dictionary.com
1859, "put up in a can," past participle adjective from can (v.2). Figuratively, of music, from 1904, originally a contemptuous term (associated with John Philip Sousa) for music played by automatic instruments.
cannery (n.) Look up cannery at Dictionary.com
1879, from can (v.2) + -ery.
Cannes Look up Cannes at Dictionary.com
city on the French Riviera, perhaps from a pre-Indo-European word *kan, meaning "height." The film festival dates from 1946.
cannibal (n.) Look up cannibal at Dictionary.com
"human that eats human flesh," 1550s, from Spanish canibal, caribal "a savage, cannibal," from Caniba, Christopher Columbus' rendition of the Caribs' name for themselves (see Caribbean). The natives were believed to be anthropophagites. Columbus, seeking evidence that he was in Asia, thought the name meant the natives were subjects of the Great Khan. Shakespeare's Caliban (in "The Tempest") is from a version of this word, with -n- and -l- interchanged, found in Hakluyt's "Voyages" (1599). The Spanish word had reached French by 1515. Used of animals from 1796. An Old English word for "cannibal" was selfæta.
cannibalism (n.) Look up cannibalism at Dictionary.com
1796, from cannibal + -ism. Perhaps from French cannibalisme, from the same year.
cannibalistic (adj.) Look up cannibalistic at Dictionary.com
1840, from cannibal + -istic. Elder but failing to flourish were cannibalic, cannibalish (both from 1824).