Definitions

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

  • n. A burdened state of mind, as that arising from heavy responsibilities; worry.
  • n. Mental suffering; grief.
  • n. An object or source of worry, attention, or solicitude: the many cares of a working parent.
  • n. Caution in avoiding harm or danger: handled the crystal bowl with care.
  • n. Close attention; painstaking application: painting the window frames and sashes with care.
  • n. Upkeep; maintenance: a product for the care of fine floors; hair care products.
  • n. Watchful oversight; charge or supervision: left the child in the care of a neighbor.
  • n. Attentive assistance or treatment to those in need: a hospital that provides emergency care.
  • intransitive v. To be concerned or interested: Once inside, we didn't care whether it rained or not.
  • intransitive v. To provide needed assistance or watchful supervision: cared for the wounded; caring for an aged relative at home.
  • intransitive v. To object or mind: If no one cares, I'll smoke.
  • intransitive v. To have a liking or attachment: didn't care for the movie.
  • intransitive v. To have a wish; be inclined: Would you care for another helping?
  • transitive v. To wish; desire: Would you care to dance?
  • transitive v. To be concerned to the degree of: I don't care a bit what critics think.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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.
  • n. Grief; sorrow; affliction; pain; distress.
  • n. Concern; solicitude; anxiety; mental disturbance, unrest, or pain caused by the apprehension of evil or the pressure of many burdens.
  • n. Attention or heed, with a view to safety or protection; a looking to something; caution; regard; watchfulness: as, take care of yourself.
  • n. Charge or oversight, implying concern and endeavor to promote an aim or accomplish a purpose: as, he was under the care of a physician.
  • n. An object of concern or watchful regard and attention.
  • n. =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 WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. be in charge of, act on, or dispose of
  • v. feel concern or interest
  • n. the work of providing treatment for or attending to someone or something
  • n. attention and management implying responsibility for safety
  • v. prefer or wish to do something
  • v. provide care for
  • n. an anxious feeling
  • n. a cause for feeling concern
  • n. judiciousness in avoiding harm or danger
  • n. activity involved in maintaining something in good working order
  • v. be concerned with

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English cearu.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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. (Wiktionary)
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"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • 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

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

    --Jan Cox

    July 6, 2007