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con·​cern kən-ˈsərn How to pronounce concern (audio)
concerned; concerning; concerns

transitive verb

: to relate to : be about
The novel concerns three soldiers.
The report concerns global warming.
: to bear on
: to have an influence on : involve
also : to be the business or affair of
The problem concerns us all.
This conversation does not concern you.
: to be a care, trouble, or distress to
Her ill health concerns me.
Her son's frequent tantrums concerned her.
: engage entry 1, occupy
He concerns himself with trivia.
She refused to concern herself with such gossip.

intransitive verb

obsolete : to be of importance : matter


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: marked interest or regard usually arising through a personal tie or relationship
Their friend's health is a constant cause of concern.
: an uneasy state of blended interest, uncertainty, and apprehension
The actor's sudden collapse on stage caused concern.
: something that relates or belongs to one : affair
It's no concern of yours.
: matter for consideration
Immigration had become a concern to Congress.
: a matter that causes feelings of unease, uncertainty, or apprehension
health/safety concerns
"Just throw it into the sun!" That phrase has long been the seemingly easy answer to … very serious concerns about what to do with nuclear waste.Dave Trumbore
: an organization or establishment for business or manufacture
a banking concern
a commercial concern
Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of concern in a Sentence

Verb The novel concerns three soldiers. This study concerns the noise levels in cities. This conversation doesn't concern you. Our mother's illness concerns us. Noun They have expressed concern about the cost of the project. There is some concern that the economy might worsen. I share your concern about these problems. Their friend's health is a constant source of concern. The governor needs to address voters' concerns about the economy. They have raised concerns about the cost of the project. Their friend's health is a constant concern. His concern with the well-being of his family is obvious. She has always shown genuine concern for the poor. I appreciate your concern, but there's really nothing you can do to help.
Recent Examples on the Web
The kind of movies that Focus is best known for making — specialty titles with mid-range budgets aimed squarely at adults — are seen as an endangered species as far as theatrical releases are concerned. Cynthia Littleton, Variety, 10 Apr. 2024 One-year moratorium on new electronic pull tab locations Another change that concerns Mulrooney, the founder of Shirley’s Way, is a one-year moratorium on licensing new electronic pull tab locations starting on July 1, 2024. The Courier-Journal, 9 Apr. 2024 See all Example Sentences for concern 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'concern.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Verb and Noun

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, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


1643, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of concern was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near concern

Cite this Entry

“Concern.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 verb
con·​cern kən-ˈsərn How to pronounce concern (audio)
: to relate to : be about
the novel concerns three soldiers
: to be the business or affair of
the problem concerns us all
: to make worried or disturbed
our mother's illness concerns us
: involve sense 1, engage
concerned himself in the matter


2 of 2 noun
: something that concerns one : affair
the concerns of the day
: a state of interest and uncertainty : anxiety
deep concern for their friend's health
public concern over pollution
: a business or manufacturing establishment
a banking concern

More from Merriam-Webster on concern

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