can't help (doing something)

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Related to cannot help: can't help it

can't help (doing something)

1. To have a compulsion to do something that is too strong to ignore or avoid. The verb used after "help" typically ends in "-ing." We can't help intervening here, before you throw your life away on drugs! My mom can't help meddling in my love life, even though I'm 30 years old!
2. To have no control over or be unable to avoid some action. I know you're irritated, but they couldn't help arriving late—the whole city is locked in a traffic jam. I know it's silly, but I can't help feeling like I failed you somehow.
See also: help

cannot help doing something

not able to refrain from doing something; not able not to do something. Anne is such a good cook, I can't help eating everything she serves. Since John loves to shop, he can't help spending money.
See also: cannot, 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

can’t help (doing) something

,

can’t help but do something

not be able to avoid or resist doing something: A kleptomaniac is a person who can’t help stealing things.‘I’m sorry, I can’t help it,’ she said, bursting into tears.He’s a bit of a fool, but you can’t help but like him.
See also: help, something
References in periodicals archive ?
Like birds feasting on mangled flesh in the middle of the road, he cannot help it.
New Delhi [India], November 27 ( ANI ): Shahid Kapoor and Mira Rajput's daughter Misha is undoubtedly one of the cutest star kids in Bollywood and the proud parents cannot help but sharing cute pictures of her on the social media.
Which Chinese herb, claimed to improve memory and mental sharpness, cannot help prevent Alzheimer's disease?
Just as a leopard cannot change its spots and a lion cannot help preying on other animals, these people cannot help exploiting other countries.
Summary: Singer Olly Murs has revealed he thinks David Beckham is "the perfect man" and he cannot help being a bit jealous of him.
However, I cannot help but notice that BBC Wales is now carrying frequent advertisements, many of them for S4C, a commercial tv station, and others apparently for a commercial music channel.
ALTHOUGH I agree the Local List is a good idea, one cannot help but wonder if it is too little too late.
note, I cannot help but think that everything I've read, Everything
I cannot help but think that, although there still would have been cuts in funding, a Yes vote in the 2004 regional assembly referendum would have meant that at least the future of One North East would have been in the hands of the people of the North East rather than at the whim of politicians for whom most of us didn't vote.
He said: "When the coach says nothing to you and you are well, with no physical problems and training well, you cannot help but think it must be something personal.
Everyone else will simply be annoyed, but you cannot help but hold begrudging respect for the Jamaican.
I cannot help but respond to your delightful story, "My Dog Let Me Down," [May/June issue] about the beagle named Beans.
HOW magical the sudden transformation, When overnight the trees are clothed in lace, I cannot help but look in admiration, And wonder at the beauty of this place, Jack Frost has been around in early morning, And painted every single twig and leaf, Resulting when the next new day is dawning, In a silver world that's quite beyond belief!
A heart in tune with God cannot help but sing his praises.
Now not content with the comforts of going home, she is proposing to go back to help the Indian women prisoners who cannot help themselves.
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