take care

idiomatic phrase

Definition of take care

1 : to be careful or watchful : to exercise caution or prudence Because fish is more delicate than beef, take care when pounding it thin.— Sam Gugino Patients also should take care in storing their drugs because heat exposure could affect their efficacy, [Aaron] Bernstein says.— Marlene Cimons often used informally to express good wishes when parting, at the end of a message, etc. I'll see you next week. Take care!
2 : to give particular attention to doing or not doing something When he had finished writing, Cluny pushed the parchment under his pillow, taking care to leave just a small corner of it jutting out.— Brian Jacques In this land of ritual, Westerners should take care to inform themselves of protocol.— Jeff Morgan Open oysters carefully just before they are required, taking care not to spill the liquor in their deep shells.— Elizabeth Craig — see also take care of

First Known Use of take care

1562, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Learn More About take care

Time Traveler for take care

Time Traveler

The first known use of take care was in 1562

See more words from the same year

Statistics for take care

Cite this Entry

“Take care.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/take%20care. Accessed 29 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on take care

Nglish: Translation of take care for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of take care for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

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!