cannot help

cannot help
he could not help laughing: BE UNABLE TO STOP, be unable to refrain from, be unable to keep from.
help

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cannot help
help

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cannot help
1
◇ If you cannot help yourself, you cannot control your actions or stop yourself from doing something.

I know I shouldn't eat any more, but I can't help myself.

They knew they shouldn't go, but they couldn't help themselves.

2
◇ If you cannot help something, you cannot stop it or prevent it.

I can't help loving you.

I know I shouldn't be angry, but I can't help it–it's just the way I feel.

3
◇ If you cannot help doing something or cannot help but do something, you cannot stop yourself from doing it.

I couldn't help having some dessert.

We couldn't help laughing. = We couldn't help but laugh.

4
◇ Something that cannot be helped cannot be avoided.

It's too bad that we have to leave, but it can't be helped.

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Main Entry:help

Useful english dictionary. 2012.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • cannot (help) but — formal phrase to have no choice except to do something You cannot help but like her. As I look back over my career, I cannot but smile. Thesaurus: choices and the process of choosingsynonym Main entry …   Useful english dictionary

  • cannot help oneself — Cannot refrain from or resist doing something • • • Main Entry: ↑help …   Useful english dictionary

  • cannot help but —  is an increasingly common construction, and perhaps now may be said to carry the weight of idiom, but it is also worth noting that it is both unnecessarily wordy and a little irregular. You cannot help but notice what a bad name deregulation has …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

  • cannot help but —    is an increasingly common construction and perhaps now may be said to carry the weight of idiom, but it is also unnecessarily wordy and a little irregular. You cannot help but notice what a bad name deregulation has with voters (Economist)… …   Dictionary of troublesome word

  • cannot help — phrasal see cannot but …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • cannot help — he could not help laughing Syn: be unable to stop, be unable to refrain from, be unable to keep from …   Thesaurus of popular words

  • cannot help but — phrasal see cannot but …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • cannot help but — phrasal : cannot but …   Useful english dictionary

  • cannot help something — …   Useful english dictionary

  • help — [help] vt. [ME helpen < OE helpan, akin to Ger helfen < IE base * k̑elb , *k̑elp , to help > early Lith sělbinos, to aid] 1. to make things easier or better for (a person); aid; assist; specif., a) to give (one in need or trouble)… …   English World dictionary

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