There are 2 main definitions of care in English:

Share this entry

care 1

Pronunciation: /kɛː/


[mass noun]
1The provision of what is necessary for the health, welfare, maintenance, and protection of someone or something: the care of the elderly the child is in the care of her grandparents health care
More example sentences
  • After providing people with necessary medical care, the troops gave away the food and drinks.
  • Reducing cost of venous disease management and improving quality of care are necessary.
  • Delegates also called for improved services for pensioners in health, social care and transport.
1.1British Protective custody or guardianship provided by a local authority for children whose parents are dead or unable to look after them properly: she was taken into care children in care
More example sentences
  • Hundreds of Bradford's children in care and their foster parents will watch Bradford Bulls matches this season for free.
  • The youngster alleged that one of his teachers told him he would be taken into care if his parents did not fill in a form to explain an absence from school.
  • From this it may be seen that a decision whether or not to take a child said to have been abused away from its natural parents and into care may often be acutely difficult.
2Serious attention or consideration applied to doing something correctly or to avoid damage or risk: he planned his departure with great care
More example sentences
  • I tried to answer every question with much care, considering the risk to my life.
  • Roll-up smoking seems to be an activity rather than an addiction - each lovingly rolled with care and attention.
  • Wash your garment with care and avoid scrubbing excessively to prevent damaging it.
discretion, judiciousness, forethought, thought, regard, heed, mindfulness;
accuracy, precision
2.1 [count noun] An object of concern or attention: the cares of family life
More example sentences
  • Compassion begins from where we are, from the circle of our cares and concerns.
  • I have a few stupid movies to watch, and my plan is to put her down and unplug from all cares and concerns.
  • Yet he understands that the Parkhead side will arrive with their own baggage, their own cares and concerns.
2.2 [count noun] A feeling of or occasion for anxiety: she was driving along without a care in the world
More example sentences
  • To those worn by cares and anxieties it is a resort for temporary respite.
  • The beautiful, isolated surroundings of the moors also play a vital part in helping guests leave behind the cares and worries of everyday life, Jan admits.
  • But she's also got a knack for handling your cares and worries and, when it's all too much, your tears.
sorrow, anguish, grief, sadness, affliction, woe, hardship, tribulation, suffering, pain, torment, misery, angst;
responsibility, stress, pressure, strain, perturbation, burdens


[no object]
1 [often with negative] Feel concern or interest; attach importance to something: they don’t care about human life [with clause]: I don’t care what she says
More example sentences
  • It's not a great plot - a little cheesy, but enough for us to care about and stay interested in the film.
  • Either way, it would be in their best interest to care about you, the student, and respond.
  • It piqued my interest enough to care about where this story, and these characters, are going.
be concerned, worry (oneself), trouble oneself, bother, mind;
concern oneself with, be interested in, interest oneself in, trouble oneself with, have regard for, burden oneself with
informal give a damn, give a hoot, give a rap, give a hang, give a tinker's curse/damn, give a monkey's, lose sleep over, get worked up
1.1Feel affection or liking: you care very deeply for him
More example sentences
  • And regardless of what happened with Jude, I know he cares about you and I can see that you care for him.
  • He who cares even for the sparrows will certainly care for us.
  • Though she doesn't care for her spot as to the Gaya throne, she cares deeply for her people.
love, be fond of, feel affection for, cherish, hold dear, treasure, prize, adore, dote on, think the world of, worship, idolize, be devoted to;
be in love with
1.2 (care for/to do something) Like or be willing to do or have something: would you care for some tea?
More example sentences
  • He had a keen interest in golf and indeed passed his vast knowledge of the game to anyone caring to listen.
  • And for anyone who cares to listen, BBC world have a Kazakh language service available.
  • These sections have been defending rights of minorities in abstract secular terms, without caring to examine whether the purpose of secularism i.e. equality of treatment by the State is being achieved.
like, wish for, want, desire, prefer, fancy, have a fancy for, take a fancy to, feel like
informal have a yen for
2 (care for) Look after and provide for the needs of: he has numerous animals to care for
More example sentences
  • It will provide volunteers for anyone caring for a child under five who is finding the going tough.
  • A drop-in centre will provide respite for youngsters caring for a sick parent or sibling.
  • But the report seems to overlook the security that being cared for by a grandparent provides.



care in the community

another term for community care.

care of

At the address of: write to me care of Ann
More example sentences
  • If you are having similar problems do write to me care of Scotland on Sunday.
  • Eager suitors are invited to write Rowland care of her maximum security penitentiary.

I (or he, she, etc.) couldn't (North American informal also could) care less

informal Used to express complete indifference: he couldn’t care less about football [as adjective]: I started to get irritated by this couldn’t-care-less attitude
More example sentences
  • Those on the right want more drilling and couldn't care less about conservation.
  • By saying nothing to you about your achievements, it can seem to you as if they couldn't care less.
  • It was good to be in a crowd of people who couldn't care less about blogging for part of the weekend.

for all you care (or he, she, etc. cares)

informal Used to indicate that someone feels no interest or concern: I could drown for all you care
More example sentences
  • They could be wearing grass skirts for all you care.
  • It could all be done with elastic bands for all you care.
  • Then wear it with rubber shoes, for all he cares!

have a care

[often in imperative] dated Be cautious: ‘Have a care!’ she warned
More example sentences
  • ‘I would advise you, dear sir, to have a care,’ she said through clenched teeth.
  • You look two ways at the same time, one eye upon your own valley, and the other at the terrace - but have a care!

take care

1 [often in imperative] Be cautious; keep oneself safe: take care if you’re planning to go out tonight
More example sentences
  • Our area has suffered recently from tragic accidents and our local Garda are appealing to all to drive with caution and take care.
  • Wellband cautions singletons to take care when buying cover.
  • And if you're still in your car, don't forget to take care, watch out for children and slow down to 40 km/h near schools.
1.1Said to someone on leaving them: take care, see you soon
More example sentences
  • Now you two have a safe trip and take care, come back soon.
  • ‘You take care now, young man, and watch after the others,’ said Ellie.
  • ‘Okay, take care,’ Roxanne called after her and watched as Sandara gave her a smile then grabbed her bag and practically raced out.
2 [with infinitive] Make sure of doing something: he would take care to provide himself with an escape clause
More example sentences
  • Religious leaders have an obligation to lead in the surest of ways, taking care not to disturb the faith of the ordinary believers.
  • Place in an oven and check every five minutes taking care not to allow the rhubarb to overcook.
  • This means the equine provider must inquire about the level of skill presented by the rider and take care not to provide a horse that is not manageable by someone of that skill level.

take care of

1Keep (someone or something) safe and provided for: I can take care of myself
More example sentences
  • Every woman can be made to look gorgeous provided she takes care of her skin and follows simple techniques of make-up, he reveals.
  • I quickly had to grow up and take care of myself and be safe and go to school and study.
  • Raising four children and taking care of two other foster children is no easy task.
look after, care for, attend to, tend, mind, minister to, take charge of, supervise, protect, guard;
keep an eye on, keep safe, be responsible for, watch, sit with, nurse, babysit, childmind
2Deal with: he has the equipment to take care of my problem
More example sentences
  • I decided since it was such an important deal I would take care of it for him.
  • Because the theater at the Stardust has the quality it does, that takes care of a great deal of my frustration right there.
  • A partnership manager takes care of all the fuss, all part-owners have to do is pay their money and roar on their acquisition on race-day.
deal with, cope with, handle, manage, attend to, see to, take charge of, take in hand, sort out, tackle


Old English caru (noun), carian (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Old High German chara 'grief, lament', charon 'grieve', and Old Norse kǫr 'sickbed'.

Words that rhyme with care

affair, affaire, air, Altair, Althusser, Anvers, Apollinaire, Astaire, aware, Ayer, Ayr, bare, bear, bêche-de-mer, beware, billionaire, Blair, blare, Bonaire, cafetière, chair, chargé d'affaires, chemin de fer, Cher, Clair, Claire, Clare, commissionaire, compare, concessionaire, cordon sanitaire, couvert, Daguerre, dare, debonair, declare, derrière, despair, doctrinaire, éclair, e'er, elsewhere, ensnare, ere, extraordinaire, Eyre, fair, fare, fayre, Finisterre, flair, flare, Folies-Bergère, forbear, forswear, foursquare, glair, glare, hair, hare, heir, Herr, impair, jardinière, Khmer, Kildare, La Bruyère, lair, laissez-faire, legionnaire, luminaire, mal de mer, mare, mayor, meunière, mid-air, millionaire, misère, Mon-Khmer, multimillionaire, ne'er, Niger, nom de guerre, outstare, outwear, pair, pare, parterre, pear, père, pied-à-terre, Pierre, plein-air, prayer, questionnaire, rare, ready-to-wear, rivière, Rosslare, Santander, savoir faire, scare, secretaire, share, snare, solitaire, Soufrière, spare, square, stair, stare, surface-to-air, swear, Tailleferre, tare, tear, their, there, they're, vin ordinaire, Voltaire, ware, wear, Weston-super-Mare, where, yeah

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: care

Share this entry

There are 2 main definitions of care in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ker/

Entry from US English dictionary


Cooperative for American Relief Everywhere, a large private organization that provides emergency and long-term assistance to people in need throughout the world.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: CARE

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.