can't help

(redirected from can't help but)

can't help something

also cannot help something
to not be able to control or stop something A lot of kids daydream in school. They just can't help it.
Usage notes: sometimes used in the form can't help but do something: I couldn't help but notice that the table is a bit wobbly.
See also: help

can't help

Also, can't help but or cannot but . Be unable to do otherwise. For example, I can't help thinking that the keys will turn up eventually, or He couldn't help but believe he would pass the entrance exam, or I cannot but applaud his efforts. The first of these phrases, can't help, is always followed by a present participle whereas the others take an infinitive. [c. 1700]
See also: help