Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary


verb con·cern \kən-ˈsərn\

Simple Definition of concern

  • : to relate to (something or someone) : to be about (something or someone)

  • : to affect or involve (someone) : to be the business or interest of (someone)

  • : to make (someone) worried : to cause concern for (someone)

Full Definition of concern

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to relate to :  be about <the novel concerns three soldiers> b :  to bear on

  3. 2 :  to have an influence on :  involve; also :  to be the business or affair of <the problem concerns us all>

  4. 3 :  to be a care, trouble, or distress to <her ill health concerns me>

  5. 4 :  engage, occupy <he concerns himself with trivia>

  6. intransitive verb
  7. obsolete :  to be of importance :  matter

Examples of concern

  1. The novel concerns three soldiers.

  2. This study concerns the noise levels in cities.

  3. This conversation doesn't concern you.

  4. Our mother's illness concerns us.

Origin of concern

Middle English, from Middle French & Medieval Latin; Middle French concerner, from Medieval Latin concernere, from Late Latin, to sift together, mingle, from Latin com- + cernere to sift — more at certain

First Known Use: 15th century



noun con·cern

Simple Definition of concern

  • : a feeling of worry usually shared by many people

  • : something that causes people to worry

  • : a feeling of being interested in and caring about a person or thing

Full Definition of concern

  1. 1 a :  marked interest or regard usually arising through a personal tie or relationship b :  an uneasy state of blended interest, uncertainty, and apprehension

  2. 2 :  something that relates or belongs to one :  affair <it's no concern of yours>

  3. 3 :  matter for consideration

  4. 4 :  an organization or establishment for business or manufacture <a banking concern>

  5. 5 :  contrivance, gadget

Examples of concern

  1. They have expressed concern about the cost of the project.

  2. There is some concern that the economy might worsen.

  3. I share your concern about these problems.

  4. Their friend's health is a constant source of concern.

  5. The governor needs to address voters' concerns about the economy.

  6. They have raised concerns about the cost of the project.

  7. Their friend's health is a constant concern.

  8. His concern with the well-being of his family is obvious.

  9. She has always shown genuine concern for the poor.

  10. I appreciate your concern, but there's really nothing you can do to help.


First Known Use of concern


Synonym Discussion of concern

care, concern, solicitude, anxiety, worry mean a troubled or engrossed state of mind or the thing that causes this. care implies oppression of the mind weighed down by responsibility or disquieted by apprehension <a face worn by years of care>. concern implies a troubled state of mind because of personal interest, relation, or affection <crimes caused concern in the neighborhood>. solicitude implies great concern and connotes either thoughtful or hovering attentiveness toward another <acted with typical maternal solicitude>. anxiety stresses anguished uncertainty or fear of misfortune or failure <plagued by anxiety and self-doubt>. worry suggests fretting over matters that may or may not be real cause for anxiety <financial worries>.

CONCERN Defined for Kids



verb con·cern \kən-ˈsərn\

Definition of concern


  1. 1 :  to relate to :  be about <The story concerns a young prince.>

  2. 2 :  to be of interest or importance to :  affect <This problem concerns us all.>

  3. 3 :  to make worried <Her illness concerned my parents.>

  4. 4 :  engage 2, occupy <She concerns herself with other people's business.>



noun con·cern

Definition of concern

  1. 1 :  a feeling of worry or care about a person or thing <concern for the poor> <a cause for concern>

  2. 2 :  something that causes worry or is regarded as important <The students' safety is her main concern.>

  3. 3 :  something that relates to or involves a person :  affair <This is not your concern.>

  4. 4 :  a business organization <a banking concern>

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up concern? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


February 8, 2016

to clear from accusation or blame

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!


Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

spindrift pince-nez kittly-benders duvet
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.