con·cern | \kən-ˈsərn \
concerned; concerning; concerns

Definition of concern 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to relate to : be about The novel concerns three soldiers. The report concerns global warming.

b : to bear on

2 : 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.

3 : to be a care, trouble, or distress to Her ill health concerns me. Her son's frequent tantrums concerned her.

4 : 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



Definition of concern (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : marked interest or regard usually arising through a personal tie or relationship Their friend's health is a constant cause of concern.

b : an uneasy state of blended interest, uncertainty, and apprehension The actor's sudden collapse on stage caused concern.

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

3a : matter for consideration Immigration had become a concern to Congress.

b : 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

4 : an organization or establishment for business or manufacture a banking concern a commercial concern

Keep scrolling for more

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


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.


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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

My issues are the issues that are concerning the people in this district. Tara Golshan, Vox, "Meet the Democrat trying to unseat scandal-plagued Rep. Jim Jordan in his heavily Republican district," 11 July 2018 Hardiman also comes with a concerning record for women. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "Which of Trump’s Potential Supreme Court Nominees Would Be the Worst for Women?," 9 July 2018 Selfish is defined as being concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself: seeking or concentrating on one's own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others. Anne Roderique-jones, SELF, "Am I a Selfish Person? I Set Out to Find Out," 8 July 2018 Barksdale-Noble in her report said a notable change from the city's previous Streetscape Plan concerns Bridge Street downtown. Linda Girardi, Aurora Beacon-News, "Yorkville aldermen look at plan for enchancing downtown," 6 July 2018 There are certainly reasons for HBO’s 30 million-plus subscribers to be concerned. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Is AT&T Going to Ruin HBO?," 10 July 2018 Today, one of the most vital questions facing the judiciary concerns the power of the federal government to safeguard African-Americans’ voting rights — which is to say, the foundational individual right of all liberal democracies. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Brett Kavanaugh’s Qualifications Don’t Matter," 10 July 2018 The last recommendation concerns equality: there needs to be a way for these guidelines to be applied equally to NASA missions and to private sector missions. Loren Grush, The Verge, "NASA needs to update its rules on how to keep the Solar System clean, report says," 5 July 2018 Bob Seely, a Tory lawmaker and member of the foreign affairs parliamentary commitee, saw grounds to be concerned about what Trump might do. Robert Hutton,, "U.K. Worries About What Trump Could Promise Putin," 28 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But a wave of multi-million dollar zoo overhauls designed to improve animal welfare suggests at least some level of concern. David Scharfenberg,, "Did humans drive this polar bear insane?," 13 July 2018 Her publicly expressed lack of concern wasn't focused on some specific aspect of her role - perhaps one with which the public could even empathize or at least understand. Robin Givhan, Houston Chronicle, "Nothing else Melania Trump wears will ever matter again," 13 July 2018 Under the terms of the agreement, Russia will deploy military police to maintain order in Daraa and facilitate the transition back to government rule, said a media activist inside who asked for anonymity out of concern for his safety. Philip Issa, Fox News, "Syrian rebels agree to give up Daraa, cradle of 2011 revolt," 13 July 2018 His family has a history of concern not just for the church, but for justice. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "What two fictional Gileads can teach us about America in 2018," 12 July 2018 Neither Tillman nor Ward have shown the ability to make shots with regularity outside of the paint, which is of primary individual concern for both this summer. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "Can Michigan State's Xavier Tillman, Nick Ward stay on floor together?," 12 July 2018 Chris Meekins, chief of Staff for HHS’s assistant secretary for preparedness and response, said officials were proceeding cautiously out of concern for the children’s safety. Silvia Foster-frau, San Antonio Express-News, "Government moves fitfully, secretly to reunite sundered families," 10 July 2018 Separated for a year, the burly, agitated Antoine and the thin, distraught Miriam have two children, one of whom, soon-to-be-18 Joséphine (Mathilde Auneveux), is too close to being an adult to be of judicial concern. Kenneth Turan,, "Review: Searing French drama 'Custody' is an unforgettable experience," 10 July 2018 Cheaper in Oklahoma In Mansfield, Hallford's parents, who are retired and living in Oklahoma (in the Tulsa area), wanted to move closer to their grandchildren, but have decided to stay in Oklahoma out of concern for Texas' rising property taxes. Gordon Dickson And Nicholas Sakelaris, star-telegram, "Priced out of their home? North Texans see tax bill rise $1,200 in five years," 6 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'concern.' 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 concern


15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


1643, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for 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


see concern entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about concern

Statistics for concern

Last Updated

15 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for concern

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for concern



English Language Learners Definition of concern

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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)



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

: 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


con·cern | \kən-ˈsərn \
concerned; concerning

Kids Definition of concern

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

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

3 : to make worried Her illness concerned my parents.

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



Kids Definition of concern (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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

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

4 : a business organization a banking concern

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on concern

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


not any or not one

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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