see also: Care
  • (RP) IPA: /kɛə/
  • (GA) enPR: kâr, IPA: /kɛ(ə)ɹ/, /ke(ə)ɹ/, [ke(ə̯)ɻ], [kɛ(ə̯)ɻ]


  1. (obsolete) Grief, sorrow.
    • a. 1472, Thomas Malory, “(please specify the chapter)”, in [Le Morte Darthur], book V, [London: […] by William Caxton], published 31 July 1485, OCLC 71490786 ↗; republished as H[einrich] Oskar Sommer, editor, Le Morte Darthur […], London: Published by David Nutt, […], 1889, OCLC 890162034 ↗:
      Than Feraunte his cosyn had grete care and cryed full lowde […].
    • c. 1595, William Shakespeare, Richard II, Act III, Scene ii:
      More health and happiness betide my liege / Than can my care-tuned tongue deliver him!
    • c. 1606, William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act II Scene ii:
      Sleep, that knits up the ravell'd sleave of care.
    • 1885, Richard F. Burton, The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Night 566:
      One day, among the days, he bethought him of this and fell lamenting for that the most part of his existence was past and he had not been vouchsafed a son, to inherit the kingdom after him, even as he had inherited it from his fathers and forebears; by reason whereof there betided him sore cark and care and chagrin exceeding.
  2. Close attention; concern; responsibility.
    Care should be taken when holding babies.
    • 1598–1599 (first performance), William Shakespeare, “Much Adoe about Nothing”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act V, scene i]:
      I thank thee for thy care and honest pains.
  3. Worry.
    I don't have a care in the world.
  4. Maintenance, upkeep.
    dental care
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, 2 Corinthians 11:28 ↗:
      Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.
  5. The treatment of those in need (especially as a profession).
  6. The state of being cared for by others.
    in care
  7. The object of watchful attention or anxiety.
    • Right sorrowfully mourning her bereaved cares.
Related terms Translations Translations
  • French: souci
  • Russian: беспоко́йство
Translations Translations Translations
  • German: Pflege
  • Russian: попече́ние

care (cares, present participle caring; past and past participle cared)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) To be concerned (about), to have an interest (in); to feel concern (about).
    "She doesn't care what you think." "I don't care, I'm still going."
    • c. 1610-11, William Shakespeare, The Tempest, Act I, Scene i:
      […] What cares these roarers [i.e. thunder] for the name of king? […]
  2. (intransitive, polite, formal) To want, to desire; to like; to be inclined towards.
    Would you care for another slice of cake?
    Would you care to dance?
    I don't care to hear your opinion.
  3. (intransitive) (with for) To look after or look out for.
    Young children can learn to care for a pet.
    He cared for his mother while she was sick.
  4. (intransitive, Appalachia) To mind; to object.
    • 2006, Grace Toney Edwards, JoAnn Aust Asbury, Ricky L. Cox, A Handbook to Appalachia: An Introduction to the Region, Univ. of Tennessee Press (ISBN 9781572334595), page 108:
      After introducing herself, the therapist then asked the patient if it would be all right to do the exercises which the doctor had ordered for her. The patient would response, "Well, I don't care to." For several days, the therapist immediately left the room and officially recorded that the patient had "refused" therapy. [...] It was not until months later that this therapist [...] discovered that she should have been interpreting "I don't care to" as "I don't mind" doing those exercises now.
Translations Translations Translations Translations
Proper noun
  1. Surname

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