care

noun
\ ˈker \

Definition of care

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : suffering of mind : grief
2a : a disquieted state of mixed uncertainty, apprehension, and responsibility oppressed by sickness, grief, or care— William Wordsworth
b : a cause for such anxiety
3a : painstaking or watchful attention his gentlemen conduct me with all care to some securest lodging— John Keats
b : maintenance floor-care products
4 : regard coming from desire or esteem a care for the common good
5 : charge, supervision under a doctor's care
6 : a person or thing that is an object of attention, anxiety, or solicitude The flower garden was her special care.

care

verb
cared; caring

Definition of care (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to feel trouble or anxiety cared for his safety
b : to feel interest or concern care about freedom
2 : to give care care for the sick
3a : to have a liking, fondness, or taste don't care for your attitude
b : to have an inclination would you care for some pie

transitive verb

1 : to be concerned about or to the extent of don't care what they say doesn't care a damn
2 : wish if you care to go
care less
: not to care used positively and negatively with the same meaning I could care less what happensI couldn't care less what happens

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Other Words from care

Verb

carer noun

Choose the Right Synonym for care

Noun

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

Examples of care in a Sentence

Noun

She used care in selecting a doctor for her son. The children have inadequate medical care and little formal education. We need to provide poor people with better dental care. She wrote a book about car care. With proper care, the machine should last a decade or more. She is an expert on skin care. She knows a lot about the care and feeding of horses. She looks as if all the cares of the world are on her shoulders.

Verb

He doesn't care if he gets fired. I care what happens to her. On Valentine's Day, send her flowers to show that you care. I didn't know you cared. I wouldn't care to be in your shoes right now. I'm going for a walk. Would you care to join me? He'll show the photos to anyone who cares to see them. More factors influenced her decision than she cares to admit.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Foster took care to preserve a majestic 80-year-old, 65-foot-tall banyan tree outside the museum. Elle Decor Editors, ELLE Decor, "Palm Beach's Norton Museum of Art Gets a Major New Expansion From Foster + Partners," 5 Feb. 2019 So yes, apparently some of the most powerful beings in the world of magic would just do their business and take care of the mess with the wave of a wand. Gabe Bergado, Teen Vogue, "Pottermore Reminded "Harry Potter" Fans That Wizards Would Get Rid of Poop Using Magic," 4 Jan. 2019 These, plus the Breu, comprise the trio of signature ingredients in every product of the line—which will eventually include soaps, hair care, and more concentrated fragrance. Eviana Hartman, Vogue, "Francisco Costa is Back—With the Chicest Sustainable Beauty Brand You’ve Ever Seen," 16 Dec. 2018 Earlier this year, the actress launched The Jane Club, a shared work and community space for women that’s all about connection, self-care, and social and political change. Prue Lewington, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Jane Club Is the Ultimate Work Space for Moms," 14 Dec. 2018 For them, tech gets in the way of daily functioning and self-care. Martha Irvine, The Seattle Times, "He’s a ‘tech addict’ who works in Seattle area’s tech industry," 26 Dec. 2018 When this time comes, the physical world will be replaced by a virtual one… and everyone will live in individual Life Pods™, where all our basic biological needs will be taken care of: nutrients and water and oxygen in, waste and CO2 out. Steve Brykman, Ars Technica, "Forget Fortnite—my son is still obsessed with Minecraft," 16 Dec. 2018 And, as an extra bonus, there's even something for your pup, because dogs need self-care, too. Lauren Swanson, Allure, "All the Beauty Products From Oprah's Epic Favorite Things List for 2018," 8 Nov. 2018 There’s everything from self-care necessities to a kazoo to Beats headphones. Dani Deahl, The Verge, "What’s In Your Bag, The Regrettes?," 5 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

So, if folks really care about liberation and human rights for all, why do international conversations on human rights exclude Black and Brown people in U.S. ’hoods? Eva Lewis, Teen Vogue, "I Traveled to Paris to Advocate for Human Rights in Chicago's South Side," 27 Nov. 2018 The Klingons have hair again (fans did not care for the bald look), and Michelle Yeoh returns as the former ruler of the Terran Empire, Philippa Georgiou. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Spock smiles in the face of danger in new trailer for Star Trek: Discovery S2," 13 Dec. 2018 The researchers were studying a species of jumping spider, hoping to learn more about how these spiders cared for their young. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "There Is a Spider That Feeds Its Young Delicious Milk, Because Nature Is Scary," 30 Nov. 2018 Ignoring the moments that YouTube’s community cares about and pays attention to, like a boxing match that brought in nearly 1 million live viewers, hides an enormous part of the platform’s cultural shift. Julia Alexander, The Verge, "YouTube Rewind hides its community’s biggest moments to appease advertisers," 6 Dec. 2018 Gillum likely cares little about Trump's analysis and spent most of the debate working to connect DeSantis with the president. Edmund Demarche | Fox News, Fox News, "DeSantis wins tense Florida gubernatorial debate against Gillum, Trump claims," 23 Oct. 2018 Participating in wellness can mean going a short walk around your neighborhood, taking a quick nap, or finding a minute to breathe with the consciousness and intent to care for and commune with yourself. Tasnim Ahmed, Allure, "I Bought Into the Commercialized Wellness Industry and It Left Me Broke (and Unwell)," 9 Aug. 2018 Activists and individuals should care what works — and the evidence shows that impact investing largely doesn’t. Kelsey Piper, Vox, "“Impact investment” funds advertise great returns and social impacts. They aren’t delivering.," 18 Dec. 2018 Conversely, if Microsoft doesn't bother doing this work for Anaheim either, then who even cares? Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Report: Microsoft is scrapping Edge, switching to just another Chrome clone," 4 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'care.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of care

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for care

Noun

Middle English, "sorrow, distress, concern," going back to Old English cearu, caru, going back to Germanic *karō (whence also Old Saxon kara "sorrow, worry," Old High German chara, Old Norse kǫr "sickbed," Gothic kara "concern") perhaps going back to an Indo-European base *ǵeh2r-, *ǵh2r- "make a sound, cry," whence Old Irish ad-gair "(s/he) accuses, sues," Middle Irish gáir "shout, cry," Welsh gawr, Greek gêrys "voice, speech," Middle Persian zryg, zryq "sorrow, suffering," Ossetic (Iron dialect) zæl- "make a sound," zar- "sing"

Note: The original meaning of the Indo-European verb base was perhaps "bewail the deceased," which might account for the divergent meanings "sorrow, care" and "make a sound, cry"; though given that the former meaning is only attested in Iranian and Germanic (in which the putative sense "make a sound," if it ever existed, has left no trace), it may be more likely that two separate Indo-European bases, one perhaps sound-symbolic, have partially merged. Note that the Indo-European reconstruction *ǵeh2r-, *ǵh2r- is based solely on presumed canonical root structure, as the only attested vocalisms for the base are *gar- and *gār-. Latin garrīre "to chatter, jabber," with geminate r, may be an unrelated onomatopoeic formation.

Verb

Middle English caren "to grieve, be anxious, be solicitous," going back to Old English cearian, carian, going back to Germanic *karōjan- (whence Old Saxon karon "to lament," Old High German karōn, Gothic karon "to be concerned"), derivative of *karō "sorrow, worry" — more at care entry 1

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Statistics for care

Last Updated

15 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for care

The first known use of care was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for care

care

noun

English Language Learners Definition of care

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: effort made to do something correctly, safely, or without causing damage
: things that are done to keep someone healthy, safe, etc.
: things that are done to keep something in good condition

care

verb

English Language Learners Definition of care (Entry 2 of 2)

: to feel interest in something : to be interested in or concerned about something
: to feel affection for someone
somewhat formal : to want to do something or to be something

care

noun
\ ˈker \

Kids Definition of care

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : serious attention Care is needed when crossing a busy street.
2 : protection sense 1, supervision The injured player is under a doctor's care.
3 : proper maintenance of property or equipment
4 : a feeling of concern or worry He acts as if he hasn't a care in the world.

care

verb
cared; caring

Kids Definition of care (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to feel interest or concern We care about what happens to you.
2 : to provide help, protection, or supervision to : look after His job is to care for the sick.
3 : to have a liking or desire Do you care for more tea?

care

noun
\ ˈka(ə)r, ˈke(ə)r \

Medical Definition of care

: responsibility for or attention to health, well-being, and safety — see acute care, health care, intensive care, primary care, tertiary care

Other Words from care

care intransitive verb cared; caring

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care

noun

Legal Definition of care

1 : watchful or protective attention, caution, concern, prudence, or regard usually towards an action or situation especially : due care a person has a duty to use care in dealing with others, and failure to do so is negligence — R. I. Mehr — see also due care, negligence, standard of care

Note: Statute, case law, and custom often impose a duty of care. The degree or standard of care owed varies depending on the circumstances. For example, a landlord has to exercise greater care in relation to a tenant than to a trespasser.

2a : personal supervision or responsibility : charge

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More from Merriam-Webster on care

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with care

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for care

Spanish Central: Translation of care

Nglish: Translation of care for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of care for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about care

Comments on care

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