care

noun
\ ˈker How to pronounce care (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Why should the world care about Ukraine’s election? Washington Post, "Legacy of Ukraine Revolution Rides on March Election: QuickTake," 18 Sep. 2019 The dogs are often provided without any signed written agreements or an outline about care, use and retirement. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "State Department report reveals bomb-sniffing dogs sent by the U.S. to Jordan dying from poor care," 16 Sep. 2019 But when a prisoner needs specialized care, such as a colonoscopy and spine surgeries, the military brings special teams to Guantánamo at a cost the military declined to disclose. New York Times, "The Cost of Running Guantánamo Bay: $13 Million Per Prisoner," 16 Sep. 2019 That includes care for veterans, but not future interest on the national debt. Sig Christenson, ExpressNews.com, "After 18 years, Texas veterans wonder how long U.S. can stay in Afghanistan," 15 Sep. 2019 While the Steelers should take care of their business at home, Seattle (+100) is the better play if the spread stays at 3.5 than the Steelers (-120). John Holler, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "Seattle Seahawks at Pittsburgh Steelers odds, picks and best bets [UPDATED]," 15 Sep. 2019 Participants learn skills that can help practice self-care, set boundaries and learn strategies to communicate with loved ones struggling with an addiction. courant.com, "Community News For The Hebron Edition," 13 Sep. 2019 Warren, who has rolled out an impressive plan for affordable child care, wants to fix that. Mattie Kahn, Glamour, "Elizabeth Warren Makes Social Security a Feminist Issue," 12 Sep. 2019 The freedom dividend, says Yang, will allow citizens to take care of their basic needs. Ineye Komonibo, Marie Claire, "Andrew Yang's 2020 Dark-Horse Presidential Platform," 12 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Both Bridget and Tyrone were by her side caring for her with love. courant.com, "Mary Burke-Brignano," 17 Sep. 2019 The buggy was towed and the horse is being care for until an owner comes forward. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland.com, "Amish males seen drinking abandon horse-and-buggy after being pulled over by Ohio deputies," 17 Sep. 2019 The chickens are fed and cared for, getting fat and healthy, according to Animal Care Director Peggy Coontz. Bonnie Gross, sun-sentinel.com, "Where the wildlife are: South Florida sanctuaries that rehab animals worth a visit," 16 Sep. 2019 More than a fad Varja Čučulović, 18, a Slovenian organizer, opened the summit outlining participants’ values of peace, equality and care not only for the environment but for their physical and mental health. Linda Givetash, NBC News, "Teen girls strike for global action on climate change," 15 Sep. 2019 Senegal spends $200 million a year on planting and caring for its section of the wall; poorer nations of the alliance can’t afford even that. Aryn Baker / Mbar Toubab, Time, "Can a 4,815-Mile Wall of Trees Help Curb Climate Change in Africa?," 12 Sep. 2019 Previously, according to The Monitor, the high-water mark for Catholic Charities in McAllen was October 2016, when the nonprofit cared for 5,600 people. Aaron Cantú, The New Republic, "Inside Trump’s Border Chaos," 12 Sep. 2019 If his parents were detained and deported, who would feed and care for them? The Economist, "What do Donald Trump’s immigration raids accomplish?," 22 Aug. 2019 HBS Working Knowledge Do people really care about equality? Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit Is All About the Sisterhood: raceAhead," 17 Sep. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about care

Statistics for care

Last Updated

11 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for care

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 How to pronounce care (audio) \

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 How to pronounce care (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to be made up of

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!