1 [kahrd]
a usually rectangular piece of stiff paper, thin pasteboard, or plastic for various uses, as to write information on or printed as a means of identifying the holder: a 3″ × 5″ file card; a membership card.
one of a set of thin pieces of cardboard with spots, figures, etc., used in playing various games; playing card.
cards, (usually used with a singular verb)
a game or games played with such a set.
the playing of such a game: to win at cards.
Casino. the winning of 27 cards or more.
Whist. tricks won in excess of six.
Also called greeting card. a piece of paper or thin cardboard, usually folded, printed with a message of holiday greeting, congratulations, or other sentiment, often with an illustration or decorations, for mailing to a person on an appropriate occasion.
something useful in attaining an objective, as a course of action or position of strength, comparable to a high card held in a game: If negotiation fails, we still have another card to play.
calling card ( def 1 ).
a program of the events at races, boxing matches, etc.
a menu or wine list.
board ( def 14a ).
a person who is amusing or facetious.
any person, especially one with some indicated characteristic: a queer card.
verb (used with object)
to provide with a card.
to fasten on a card.
to write, list, etc., on cards.
Slang. to examine the identity card or papers of: The bartender was carding all youthful customers to be sure they were of legal drinking age.
in/on the cards, impending or likely; probable: A reorganization is in the cards.
play one's cards right, to act cleverly, sensibly, or cautiously: If you play your cards right, you may get mentioned in her will.
put one's cards on the table, to be completely straightforward and open; conceal nothing: He always believed in putting his cards on the table.

1350–1400; Middle English carde, unexplained variant of carte Unabridged


2 [kahrd]
noun Also called carding machine.
a machine for combing and paralleling fibers of cotton, flax, wool, etc., prior to spinning to remove short, undesirable fibers and produce a sliver.
a similar implement for raising the nap on cloth.
verb (used with object)
to dress (wool or the like) with a card.
card out, Printing. to add extra space between lines of text, so as to fill out a page or column or give the text a better appearance.

1325–75; Middle English carde < Middle French: literally, teasel head < Late Latin cardus thistle, variant of Latin carduus

carder, noun

Card. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
card1 (kɑːd)
1.  a piece of stiff paper or thin cardboard, usually rectangular, with varied uses, as for filing information in an index, bearing a written notice for display, entering scores in a game, etc
2.  such a card used for identification, reference, proof of membership, etc: library card; identity card; visiting card
3.  such a card used for sending greetings, messages, or invitations, often bearing an illustration, printed greetings, etc: Christmas card; birthday card
4.  one of a set of small pieces of cardboard, variously marked with significant figures, symbols, etc, used for playing games or for fortune-telling
5.  a.  short for playing card
 b.  (as modifier): a card game
 c.  (in combination): cardsharp
6.  informal a witty, entertaining, or eccentric person
7.  cheque card short for credit card
8.  See compass card
9.  horse racing Also called: race card a daily programme of all the races at a meeting, listing the runners, riders, weights to be carried, distances to be run, and conditions of each race
10.  a thing or action used in order to gain an advantage, esp one that is concealed and kept in reserve until needed (esp in the phrase a card up one's sleeve)
11.  See printed circuit short for printed circuit card
[C15: from Old French carte, from Latin charta leaf of papyrus, from Greek khartēs, probably of Egyptian origin]

card2 (kɑːd)
1.  (tr) to comb out and clean fibres of wool or cotton before spinning
2.  (formerly) a machine or comblike tool for carding fabrics or for raising the nap on cloth
[C15: from Old French carde card, teasel, from Latin carduus thistle]

abbreviation for

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1401, from M.Fr. carte, from L. charta "leaf of paper, tablet," from Gk. khartes "layer of papyrus," probably from Egyptian. Form infl. after 14c. by It. carta (see chart). Sense of "playing cards" is oldest in Fr. and Eng.; the sense extended to similar flat, stiff bits of
paper 1596. Meaning "printed ornamental greetings for special occasions" is 1869. Application to clever or original persons (1836, originally with an adjective, e.g. smart card) is from the playing-card sense, via expressions such as sure card "an expedient certain to attain an object" (c.1560). Verb meaning "require (someone) to show ID" is 1970s. Card-carrying first attested 1948, during U.S. Cold War anti-Communist paranoia. Card table is from 1713. Card-sharper is 1859. House of cards in the fig. sense is from 1641, first attested in Milton. To have a card up (one's) sleeve is 1898; to play the _______ card is from 1886, originally the Orange card, meaning "appeal to Northern Irish Protestant sentiment (for political advantage)."

"to comb wool," 1393, from O.Prov. carda, from cardar "to card," from V.L. *caritare, from L. carrere "to clean or comb with a card," from PIE base *kars- "to scrape."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Computing Dictionary

card definition

1. A circuit board.
2. SD card.
3. A punched card.
4. An alternative term for a node in a system (e.g. HyperCard, Notecards) in which the node size is limited.
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
player on St. Louis Cardinals baseball team
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


In addition to the idioms beginning with card, also see hold all the aces (the trump card); house of cards; in the cards; lay one's cards on the table; play one's cards close to one's chest play one's cards right; trump card; wild card.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
If the platform was covered in a slippery piece of card, the agama lost its
  footing and it leapt at the wrong angle.
Previously, commands had to be fed into a computer in batches, usually via a
  punch card or paper tape.
Make a card with windows that reveals messages and pictures.
Check their card to make sure they have the correct answers.
Images for card
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