from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A concerned or troubled state of mind, as that arising from serious responsibility; worry.
  • noun An object or source of worry, attention, or solicitude.
  • noun Interest, regard, or liking.
  • noun Close attention, as in doing something well or avoiding harm.
  • noun Upkeep; maintenance.
  • noun Watchful oversight; charge or supervision.
  • noun Attentive assistance or treatment to those in need.
  • intransitive verb To be concerned or interested.
  • intransitive verb To provide needed assistance or watchful supervision.
  • intransitive verb To object or mind.
  • intransitive verb To have a liking or attachment.
  • intransitive verb To have a wish; be inclined.
  • intransitive verb To wish; desire.
  • intransitive verb To be concerned to the degree of.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To feel grief or sorrow; grieve.
  • To be anxious or solicitous; be concerned or interested: commonly with about or for.
  • To be inclined or disposed; have a desire: often with for.
  • To have a liking or regard: with for before the object.
  • To be concerned so as to feel or express objection; feel an interest in opposing: chiefly with a negative: as, He says he is coming to see you. I don't care. Will you take something? I don't care if I do.
  • noun Grief; sorrow; affliction; pain; distress.
  • noun Concern; solicitude; anxiety; mental disturbance, unrest, or pain caused by the apprehension of evil or the pressure of many burdens.
  • noun Attention or heed, with a view to safety or protection; a looking to something; caution; regard; watchfulness: as, take care of yourself.
  • noun Charge or oversight, implying concern and endeavor to promote an aim or accomplish a purpose: as, he was under the care of a physician.
  • noun An object of concern or watchful regard and attention.
  • noun =Syn. Care, Concern, Solicitude, Anxiety. Care is the widest in its range of meaning; it may be with or without feeling, with of without action: as, the care of a garden. In its strongest sense, care is a painful burden of thought, perhaps from a multiplicity and constant pressure of things to be attended to: as, the child was a great care to her. Concern and solicitude are a step higher in intensity. Concern is often a regret for painful facts. Care and concern may represent the object of the thought and feeling; the others represent only the mental state: as, it shall be my chief concern. Solicitude is sometimes tenderer than concern, or is attended with more manifestation of feeling. Anxiety is the strongest of the four words; it is a restless dread of some evil. As compared with solicitude, it is more negative: as, solicitude to obtain preferment, to help a friend; anxiety to avoid an evil. We speak of care for an aged parent, concern for her comfort, solicitude to leave nothing undone for her welfare, anxiety as to the effect of an exposure to cold. (For apprehension and higher degrees of fear, see alarm.)

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To be anxious or solicitous; to be concerned; to have regard or interest; -- sometimes followed by an objective of measure.
  • intransitive verb To have regard or affection for; to like or love.
  • noun A burdensome sense of responsibility; trouble caused by onerous duties; anxiety; concern; solicitude.
  • noun Charge, oversight, or management, implying responsibility for safety and prosperity.
  • noun Attention or heed; caution; regard; heedfulness; watchfulness.
  • noun The object of watchful attention or anxiety.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun obsolete Grief, sorrow.
  • noun Close attention; concern; responsibility
  • noun worry
  • noun maintenance, upkeep
  • noun The treatment of those in need (especially as a profession)
  • noun the state of being cared for by others
  • verb intransitive To be concerned about, have an interest in.
  • verb intransitive To look after.
  • verb intransitive To be mindful of.
  • verb Polite or formal way to say want.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb be in charge of, act on, or dispose of
  • verb feel concern or interest
  • noun the work of providing treatment for or attending to someone or something
  • noun attention and management implying responsibility for safety
  • verb prefer or wish to do something
  • verb provide care for


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old English cearu.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English care, from Old English caru, ċearu ("care, concern, anxiety, sorrow, grief, trouble"), from Proto-Germanic *karō (“care, sorrow, cry”), from Proto-Indo-European *ǵār-, *gÀr- (“voice, exclamation”). Cognate with Old Saxon cara, kara ("concern, action"), Middle High German kar ("sorrow, lamentation"), Icelandic kör ("sickbed"), Gothic 𐌺𐌰𐍂𐌰 (kara, "concern, care"). Related also to Dutch karig ("scanty"), German karg ("sparse, meagre, barren"). See chary.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English caren, carien, from Old English carian ("to sorrow, grieve, be troubled, be anxious, to care for, heed"), from Proto-Germanic *karōnan (“to care”), from Proto-Indo-European *ǵār-, *gÀr- (“voice, exclamation”). Cognate with Middle High German karn ("to complain, lament, grieve, mourn"), Alemannic German karen, kären ("to groan, wheeze, give a death rattle"), Swedish kära ("to fall in love"), Icelandic kæra ("to care, like"), Gothic 𐌺𐌰𐍂𐍉𐌽 (karōn, "to be concerned").


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  • Those who can actually "care" about life cannot do so judiciously or selectively.

    --Jan Cox

    July 6, 2007

  • WORD: care

    EXAMPLE: ' Care, defined as a capacity for attention to such things as order and propriety, was not something most members of Duane's large family had proven to be capable of or interested in. '

    ---1999. Larry McMurtry. Duane's Depressed. Book One: The Walker and His Family. Chapter 1. (Page 3).

    December 31, 2013