There are 2 main definitions of card in English:


Line breaks: card
Pronunciation: /kɑːd


1A piece of thick, stiff paper or thin pasteboard, in particular one used for writing or printing on: some notes jotted down on a card [mass noun]: a piece of card
More example sentences
  • The first thing to buy is a large sheet of white thick paper or thin card, which you gently bend into a right angled curve.
  • The Sun's image can then be seen on small piece of stiff card covered with some white paper.
  • You won't get a good idea of the right fragrance unless you put each one on different cards or pieces of paper.
cardboard, pasteboard, board, stiff paper
1.1A card printed with a picture and used to send a message or greeting: a birthday card
More example sentences
  • We also made sure we know her birthday so we can send her a birthday card and some flowers.
  • He never said goodbye to me, he's never even sent me a birthday card or a Christmas present or even tried to call me!
  • The tangible proof of that was seen in the hundreds of cards, greetings and messages of hope he received during his brief illness.
greetings card, postcard, Christmas card, birthday card, good luck card, get well card, sympathy card
1.2A card with a person’s name and other details printed on it for purposes of identification, for example a business card: a membership card entitled you to library services she dug into her bag and produced her card
More example sentences
  • The bailiffs will carry an identification card and their details can be checked at the council's Parking Shop.
  • There was also a call for ‘true’ family membership with joint names on the membership card.
  • Yet the UEC, as proposed by David Blunkett, is an identity card in all but name.
identification, ID, credentials, papers;
1.3(In soccer and some other games) a yellow or red card shown by the referee to a player who is being cautioned or sent off: the ref will have his cards at the ready to enforce the rule of law
More example sentences
  • Pierluigi Collina takes a long look but leaves the card in his pocket.
  • The ref gives Cannavaro a ticking-off but keeps his cards in his pocket.
  • There's been one other card brandished in the last couple of minutes, but there appears to be confusion over who was on the receiving end.
2A small rectangular piece of plastic containing personal data in a machine-readable form and used to obtain cash or credit or to pay for a telephone call, gain entry to a room or building, etc. your card cannot be used to withdraw more than your daily limit from cash machines she paid for the goods with her card
More example sentences
  • However, if they do obtain a card, the credit limit will be low.
  • It contained cash, cards and other personal items.
  • A potter or a carpenter in the remote village may soon be able to avail of bank credit through a plastic card.
3A playing card: a pack of cards
More example sentences
  • In America it is known as old sledge or seven up and usually played by two players with the full pack of 52 cards, with the ace being the highest and the two the lowest.
  • From a deck of cards, pick out the ace through six of one suit.
  • We oohed when he chose the right card from the pack.
plain card, picture card, tarot card;
British court card;
North American face card;
(cards)pack of cards
3.1 (cards) A game played with playing cards: they were playing interminable cards
More example sentences
  • He loved his game of cards and supported card games for charitable purposes.
  • All of which can start to feel a bit alienating if you're a non-player and your most sophisticated game of cards to date is Twenty-One.
  • Pat also enjoyed his game of cards and always supported card games for charity.
4 Computing short for expansion card.
More example sentences
  • Plug in your cable modem and hook up the home with PCI / PCMCIA bridges and use the PCMCIA wireless cards in all your desktop and laptop computers.
  • It has slots for memory expansion, digital/multimedia cards and a 400 MHz processor.
  • Most computer audio cards have great sound, so what really matters are your PC's speakers.
5 (cards) British informal Documents relating to an employee, especially for tax and national insurance, held by the employer.
6A programme of events at a race meeting: a nine-race card
More example sentences
  • Bag Woman won the first race on the card, a claiming event in which she carried a $13,500 tag, to sew up the record.
  • The Sydney Turf Club had planned a seven-race card at Canterbury Park Racecourse with the Starlight Stakes the feature race.
  • Beulah Park halted its nine-race card after the fifth race due to slippery track conditions.
6.1A record of scores in a sporting event; a scorecard.
More example sentences
  • Both the Hall of Fame and the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues sent along Vic's player record card.
  • He called the items "score cards" with the players names preprinted on the card.
  • Late arriving players must have their name added to the score card upon arrival.
7 informal , dated A person regarded as odd or amusing: He laughed: ‘You’re a card, you know
More example sentences
  • "You're a card, Mr. Spangler," said Mr. Wilkinson.
  • He's a card, you got that in common.
  • She thinks he's a card, and likes him.


[with object] Back to top  
1Write (something) on a card, especially for indexing.
More example sentences
  • The carded information was then verified by a separate review.
  • There is also a ten-inch file of carded notes and interviews on the Bonneville Administration, 1944-1954.
  • As a result, I have 4 plastic shoeboxes where I keep all my carded recipes.
1.1 informal (In golf and other sports) score (a certain number of points on a scorecard): he carded 68 in the final round
More example sentences
  • Ipgc chairman Stephen Beard also put together a fine round of golf, carding a 4 under par 68.
  • Pre-championship favourite Tiger Woods, who carded a one-under 71 on Thursday, was still to go out, along with Ernie Els who was level.
  • Gary Coutts and John Bornholt carded the best scores for the visitors.
1.2(Of the referee in soccer and some other games) show a yellow or red card to (a player who is being cautioned or sent off): Reid, seconds after being carded, broke down the left wing a Mac flanker was carded and sent to the sin bin in the first half
More example sentences
  • The first-half descended into a scrappy affair with bookings for Cork's Alan Carey and Derry's Paddy McLaughlin for misjudged tackles while Darren Kelly was carded by referee Dick O'Hanlon for throwing the ball away after Cork were awarded a throw-in.
  • John-Baptiste was booked for hauling down Chillingworth and Neil was carded for a very late challenge on Walker as the U's skipper skipped past him.
  • Anyway, Durand also deserved to see yellow for the Oscar-level theatrics that followed, evidence of the determination to get opponents carded that is creeping into the professional game.
2North American Check the identity card of (someone), in particular as evidence of legal drinking age: we were carded at the entrance to the club
More example sentences
  • Lately, theaters have been taking the ‘R’ rating far more seriously than they used to - actually carding young patrons to check if they are of age to see the movie without a guardian.
  • Yesterday a twelve-year-old sales clerk carded me when I purchased a bottle of non-alcoholic Merlot.
  • ‘I should have carded him,’ he answered laughing as he handed over the Long Island ice tea.
3 (be carded) Canadian (Of an amateur athlete) be in receipt of government funding to pursue training: in 1986-7 all carded athletes received a basic $450 monthly allowance
More example sentences
  • Robin Leslie and Erin Morton are two members of the team who have continued with much success and have been carded for the national field hockey team.
  • Athletes who have been carded for a minimum of three years may receive some readjustment support through a special-needs application.
  • Athletes who have been carded for a minimum of three years may receive some readjustment support through a special-needs application.


late Middle English (in sense 3 of the noun): from Old French carte, from Latin carta, charta, from Greek khartēs 'papyrus leaf'.


a card up one's sleeve

A plan or asset that is kept secret until it is needed: the alliances have been the key card up our sleeve
More example sentences
  • Fortunately we had a card up our sleeve, a guest player by the name of Garfield Sobers and, within half an hour, he had shared eight wickets with [Fred] Trueman.
  • One young man cried, ‘There was a card up your sleeve!’
  • The same company that manufacturers some of the highest performing desktop harddisks, IBM, has a card up their sleeve for the notebook market.

get one's cards

British informal Be dismissed from one’s employment: he got his cards on his 50th birthday
More example sentences
  • He was shocked and devastated when he got his cards after more than three decades of service.
  • On the shop floor it more or less meant the proles getting their cards and hapless, toadying management promoted beyond their competence.
  • This came under Joe Royle in the 1995/96 campaign but was not enough to prevent the Everton playing great getting his cards shortly afterwards.

give someone their cards

British informal Dismiss someone from employment: the firm has just given 74,000 workers their cards
More example sentences
  • On 12 July, the day after the clear-up was called to a halt, Bovis gave him his cards.
  • Cotterill had been out of full- time work himself since Sunderland - where he was Howard Wilkinson's assistant - gave him his cards in February 2003.
  • He gave me my cards and told me that he never wanted to see me again.

hold all the cards

Be in a very strong or advantageous position: he held all the cards and made all the decisions
More example sentences
  • It appears that the highways authority holds all the cards.
  • There's a guy funding a film by a friend of mine, and he's decided that he holds all the cards, since he put up the million-and-a-half budget, so he wants to re-cut the movie.
  • Things have gotten so bad, that a liar and plagiarist holds all the cards; he can keep his stature, pay, and influence, or he can get a seven figure check.

on (or North American in) the cards

British informal Possible or likely: our marriage has been on the cards from day one
More example sentences
  • And if a sale is in the cards, there's likely a willing buyer: Softbank Corp.
  • A drive-through Pizza Hut and an expanded Asda store are on the cards for Colchester.
  • New jobs and convenient shopping are on the cards following a major store revamp.

play (or use) the —— card

Exploit the specified issue or idea mentioned, especially for political advantage: he resisted the temptation to play the race card the government tried to play the nationalist card
More example sentences
  • He angrily denied that he was playing the race card.
  • These groups play the race card under the guise of concerns about immigration.
  • In the local debate that's ensued, Henraux plays the jobs card, threatening to lay off 20 workers if it can't level the mountaintop.

play one's cards right

Make the best use of one’s assets and opportunities: you have a chance of success if you play your cards right
More example sentences
  • That's the kind of opportunity people kill for, and if you play your cards right, we can grab it!
  • If Fox plays their cards right, they could have a cult show on the level of Seinfeld on their hands.
  • If he plays his cards right - a big if - he could peel off just enough Cuban voters to carry Florida on November 2.

put (or lay) one's cards on the table

Be completely open and honest in declaring one’s resources, intentions, or attitude: I would have a confrontation with him and put my cards on the table
More example sentences
  • And to your question about how much should we put our cards on the table and be honest about our biases, I think that's a good thing to do.
  • You have to lay your cards on the table, be honest about what your priorities are in life and where your weaknesses lie.
  • I'm putting my cards on the table because it's important we have a vote of confidence.

Definition of card in:

There are 2 main definitions of card in English:


Line breaks: card
Pronunciation: /kɑːd


[with object]
Comb and clean (raw wool, hemp fibres, or similar material) with a sharp-toothed instrument in order to disentangle the fibres before spinning: the wool from the sheep was carded and spun
More example sentences
  • Spinning wheels lined the walls and at the central tables others sorted, hackled and carded the wool.
  • Moreover, he noted that working in ghettos where underventilated, crowded conditions prevailed was a special risk factor in workers repairing old mattresses and/or carding used wool.
  • She was wearing a sweater she'd been forced to knit from the wool they'd carded from the flocks.


Back to top  
A toothed implement or machine for carding wool.
More example sentences
  • Distribute the wool evenly across the entire card until the teeth are barely showing through.
  • Begin by placing a small piece of wool on the left card that should be lying on your lap.
  • When carding the teased wool, a card is held in each hand.


late Middle English: from Old French carde, from Provençal carda, from cardar 'tease, comb', based on Latin carere 'to card'.



More example sentences
  • He inspired Indians to burn imported British fabrics and return to the traditional textiles woven in villages, and he helped retrain local spinners, weavers, and carders.
  • Calling all Bolton ex-mill workers, carders, spinners, winders and weavers… someone wants to hear your story.
  • Among the earliest were the Massachusetts textile-mill hands, farm girls and women aged sixteen to twenty-three who after 1814 worked twelve hours a day, six days a week on mechanized carders, spinners, and looms.

Definition of card in: