con·​cern | \ kən-ˈsərn How to pronounce concern (audio) \
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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb He was told the store was concerned about following federal privacy laws. Nicole Dungca, Washington Post, "On the front lines of the pandemic, grocery workers are in the dark about risks," 24 May 2020 The Education Department told House Republicans it is concerned about the threat posed by the Chinese government as part of an update on its sprawling investigation into foreign funding and influence on U.S. campuses. Jerry Dunleavy, Washington Examiner, "‘Threat’: Education Department warns of China’s influence on campus," 23 May 2020 Another poll by Civiqs found that 36% of Republicans are not concerned at all about a coronavirus outbreak in their local area and just 9% are extremely concerned. Nicole Goodkind, Fortune, "States with the least coronavirus restrictions all voted for Trump," 22 May 2020 Moore helped Joi through the licensure process even though she was concerned that his health problems, which included diabetes and high blood pressure, might expose him to increased risk on the job. Gina Barton, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Dosha 'DJay' Joi, a former foster youth who advocated for others, has died of coronavirus," 22 May 2020 Advocacy groups don't know the full impact of the changes yet, but some are already concerned. Cassidy Alexander And Nikki Ross, USA TODAY, "'It's been hell': Parents struggle with distance learning for their kids with disabilities," 22 May 2020 If you're concerned about eating indoors around other people, or just antsy to finally get out of the house — and practice safe social distancing of course — here are a handful of Louisville places with plans to accommodate guests on their patios. Louisville Courier Journal, "Louisville restaurants reopen this weekend. Here are 12+ places where you can eat outside," 21 May 2020 Previous SlideNext Slide Relentless chose not to add ultimate moves to Crucible because they were concerned such powers would wreak havoc on the balance of the game's optional battle royale mode—which pits eight teams of two against each other. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Crucible, Amazon’s new online shooter: Alexa, does this game have a chance?," 19 May 2020 Banner Health, the state’s largest health care system, offers diagnostic testing for employees who are symptomatic or are concerned about possible exposure. Rachel Leingang, azcentral, "Experts say health care workers should get tested frequently for COVID-19. Are they in Arizona?," 19 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Health concerns, social isolation and the stress of job losses are taking a toll on people’s well-being. Andrea Petersen, WSJ, "More People Are Taking Drugs for Anxiety and Insomnia, and Doctors Are Worried," 25 May 2020 Memorial Day weekend crowds cause concern as U.S. death toll ... Washington Post, "While U.S. struggles to roll out coronavirus contact tracing, Germany has been doing it from the start," 25 May 2020 The analysts highlighted two particular consumption concerns: proteins and condiments. Lee Clifford, Fortune, "These Wall Street analysts want to know what you are grilling during Memorial Day weekend," 24 May 2020 The safety of fans, players and team staff is the primary concern, and if the COVID-19 situation does not allow for large crowds to gather at the ballpark, the team will not play. cleveland, "North Ridgeville Police Department partners with Ring home security: Short Takes on Avon, Avon Lake and North Ridgeville," 23 May 2020 But Maria, who asked to be identified only by her first name because of employment concerns, feared something worse while slicing a steady stream of carcasses in mid-April at the Mountaire Farms poultry facility in Siler City, North Carolina. USA Today, "Cheap chicken, beef came at a cost. How American meat plants bred coronavirus hot spots.," 22 May 2020 Is there concern about large groups gathering outside of restaurants? Justin L. Mack, The Indianapolis Star, "What you need to know as Indianapolis restaurants reopen for outdoor dining," 22 May 2020 After all, Facebook and Google canceled their comparable conferences this year due to COVID-19 concerns, and Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference is still a few weeks away. Samantha Murphy Kelly, CNN, "Microsoft Build proves splashy tech events can thrive online," 21 May 2020 Even as some universities abandon hope of in-person instruction next semester, citing concerns from public health officials, dozens are announcing plans to welcome students back in August. Collin Binkley, Houston Chronicle, "Colleges plan fall opening, but campuses won't look the same," 21 May 2020

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.

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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

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

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Learn More about concern

Time Traveler for concern

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for concern

Last Updated

27 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Concern.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for concern


How to pronounce concern (audio)

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 How to pronounce concern (audio) \
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

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More from Merriam-Webster on concern

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for concern

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with concern

Spanish Central: Translation of concern

Nglish: Translation of concern for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of concern for Arabic Speakers

Comments on concern

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