before 900; (noun) Middle English;Old Englishcaru, cearu, cognate with Gothickara,Old High Germanchara lament; (v.) Middle Englishcaren,Old Englishcearian, carian
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.
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.