a state of mind in which one is troubled; worry, anxiety, or concern: He was never free from care.
a cause or object of worry, anxiety, concern, etc.: Their son has always been a great care to them.
serious attention; solicitude; heed; caution: She devotes great care to her work.
protection; charge: He is under the care of a doctor.
temporary keeping, as for the benefit of or until claimed by the owner: He left his valuables in the care of friends. Address my mail in care of the American Embassy.
grief; suffering; sorrow.
verb (used without object), cared, caring.
to be concerned or solicitous; have thought or regard.
to be concerned or have a special preference (usually used in negative constructions): I don't care if I do.
to make provision or look out (usually followed by for ): Will you care for the children while I am away?
to have an inclination, liking, fondness, or affection (usually followed by for ): Would you care for dessert? I don't care for him very much.
verb (used with object), cared, caring.
to feel concern about: He doesn't care what others say.
to wish; desire; like: Would you care to dance?
couldn't care less, could not care less; be completely unconcerned: I couldn't care less whether she goes to the party or not. Also, could care less.
take care,
be alert; be careful: Take care that you don't fall on the ice!
take care of yourself; goodbye: used as an expression of parting.
take care of,
to watch over; be responsible for: to take care of an invalid.
to act on; deal with; attend to: to take care of paying a bill.

before 900; (noun) Middle English; Old English caru, cearu, cognate with Gothic kara, Old High German chara lament; (v.) Middle English caren, Old English cearian, carian

carer, noun
noncaring, adjective
overcare, noun
uncaring, adjective

1. See concern. 3. To take care, pains, trouble (to do something) implies watchful, conscientious effort to do something exactly right. To take care implies the performance of one particular detail: She took care to close the cover before striking the match. To take pains suggests a sustained carefulness, an effort to see that nothing is overlooked but that every small detail receives attention: to take pains with fine embroidery. To take trouble implies an effort that requires a considerable amount of activity and exertion: to take the trouble to make suitable arrangements.

15. Couldn't care less, a phrase used to express indifference, is sometimes heard as could care less, which ought to mean the opposite but is intended to be synonymous with the former phrase. Both versions are common mainly in informal speech. Unabridged


a private organization for the collection of funds, goods, etc., for distribution to the needy in foreign countries.
Also, Care.

C(ooperative for) A(merican) R(elief) E(verywhere) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
care (kɛə)
vb (foll by for) (foll by for)
1.  (when tr, may take a clause as object) to be troubled or concerned; be affected emotionally: he is dying, and she doesn't care
2.  (intr; foll by for or about) to have regard, affection, or consideration (for): he cares more for his hobby than his job
3.  to have a desire or taste (for): would you care for some tea?
4.  to provide physical needs, help, or comfort (for): the nurse cared for her patients
5.  (tr) to agree or like (to do something): would you care to sit down, please?
6.  for all I care, I couldn't care less I am completely indifferent
7.  careful or serious attention: under her care the plant flourished; he does his work with care
8.  protective or supervisory control: in the care of a doctor
9.  (often plural) trouble; anxiety; worry
10.  an object of or cause for concern: the baby's illness was her only care
11.  caution: handle with care
12.  care of Usual abbreviation: c/o at the address of: written on envelopes
13.  social welfare in care, into care made the legal responsibility of a local authority by order of a court
[Old English cearu (n), cearian (vb), of Germanic origin; compare Old High German chara lament, Latin garrīre to gossip]

CARE (kɛə)
n acronym for
1.  Cooperative for American Relief Everywhere, Inc.; a federation of US charities, giving financial and technical assistance to many regions of the world
2.  communicated authenticity, regard, empathy: the three qualities believed to be essential in the therapist practising client-centred therapy

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

O.E. caru, cearu "sorrow, anxiety, grief," also "serious mental attention," from P.Gmc. *karo, from PIE base *gar- "cry out, scream." Sense of "charge, oversight, protection" is c.1400. The verb is O.E. carian, cearian "to feel concern or interest," from P.Gmc. *karojanan. Phrase couldn't care less is
from 1946; could care less in the same sense (with an understood negative) is 1966. Care figures in many "similies of indifference" in the form don't care a _____, with the blank filled by fig, pin, button, cent, straw, rush, point, farthing, snap, etc.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
  1. Cooperative for American Relief Everywhere

  2. Cooperative for American Relief to Europe

  3. Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency Act

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 idiom beginning with care, also see couldn't care less; for all (I care); in care of; in charge (the care of); take care; take care of; tender loving care; that's (takes care of) that.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Encyclopedia Britannica


international aid and development organization that operates in some 35 countries worldwide.

Learn more about CARE with a free trial on

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences for care
Convening a mediation meeting requires as much care as convening any important
Particular care must be taken when using cyclic data such as phases or angles.
Hoarders tend to believe that they provide the right amount of care for their
Fir is also gaining popularity as a safe method of natural health care &
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