1

care

play
noun \ ˈker \
Updated on: 11 Sep 2017

Definition of care

1 :suffering of mind :grief
2 a :a disquieted state of mixed uncertainty, apprehension, and responsibility
  • oppressed by sickness, grief, or care
  • —William Wordsworth
b :a cause for such anxiety
3 a :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.

Examples of care in a Sentence

  1. She used care in selecting a doctor for her son.

  2. The children have inadequate medical care and little formal education.

  3. We need to provide poor people with better dental care.

  4. She wrote a book about car care.

  5. With proper care, the machine should last a decade or more.

  6. She is an expert on skin care.

  7. She knows a lot about the care and feeding of horses.

  8. She looks as if all the cares of the world are on her shoulders.

Recent Examples of care from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of care

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.

Synonym Discussion of care

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

2

care

verb

Definition of care

cared; caring
intransitive verb
1 a :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
3 a :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

carer

noun
care less
:not to care used positively and negatively with the same meaning
  • I could care less what happens
  • I couldn't care less what happens

Examples of care in a Sentence

  1. He doesn't care if he gets fired.

  2. I care what happens to her.

  3. On Valentine's Day, send her flowers to show that you care.

  4. I didn't know you cared.

  5. I wouldn't care to be in your shoes right now.

  6. I'm going for a walk. Would you care to join me?

  7. He'll show the photos to anyone who cares to see them.

  8. More factors influenced her decision than she cares to admit.

Recent Examples of care from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of care

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 1care

care Synonyms

Synonyms
look out (for), mind, watch
Related Words
attend, heed, regard; note, notice, observe; empathize (with), feel (for), sympathize (with)
Near Antonyms
disregard, ignore, overlook

CARE Defined for English Language Learners

care

play
noun

Definition of care for English Language Learners

  • : 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

Definition of care for English Language Learners

  • : to feel interest in something : to be interested in or concerned about something

  • : to feel affection for someone

  • : to want to do something or to be something


CARE Defined for Kids

1

care

play
noun \ ˈker \

Definition of care for Students

1 :serious attention
  • Care is needed when crossing a busy street.
2 :protection 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.

2

care

verb

Definition of care for Students

cared; caring
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?

Medical Dictionary

care

play
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

care

intransitive verb cared; caring

Law Dictionary

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.
2 a :personal supervision or responsibility :charge


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