Definition of concern in English:

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Pronunciation: /kənˈsəːn/


[with object]
1Relate to; be about: the story concerns a friend of mine the report is mainly concerned with 1984 onwards
More example sentences
  • Of course, the Today Tonight story was only concerned with the latter issue.
  • Julian Barnes's new book of short stories is concerned with old age and death.
  • Shelton is less concerned with telling a story than with finding answers.
be about, deal with, cover, treat, have to do with;
discuss, tell of, go into, examine, scrutinize, study, review, analyse;
relate to, be connected with, pertain to, appertain to
archaic regard
1.1Be relevant or important to; affect or involve: she was prying into that which did not concern her many thanks to all concerned
More example sentences
  • It is so important for all concerned that we know what people do and do not want.
  • She said the PCT is committed to involving staff and patients in the review and that all concerned parties would be kept informed.
  • While no definitive solution to the impasse was reached there will be a further meeting of all concerned next week
affect, be the business of, involve, be relevant to, apply to, pertain to, have a bearing on, bear on, impact on;
be of importance to, be important to, interest, be of interest to
interested, involved, affected;
1.2 (concern oneself with) Interest or involve oneself in: it is not necessary for us to concern ourselves with this point
More example sentences
  • Some, such as chambers of commerce, concern themselves with narrowly defined interests.
  • There is every likelihood of there being something of interest to those who concern themselves with such things, and tourism might be enhanced.
  • CB has been personally involved with some of the campaigns his newspaper has concerned itself with.
1.3 (be concerned in) formal Have a specific connection with or responsibility for: those concerned in industry, academia, and government
More example sentences
  • Mr Black accepted an undertaking which prevents him from being a director of a company, directly or indirectly, and being concerned in or taking part in the promotion, formation or management of a company for four years.
  • During 1998 and 1999 both respondents were concerned in the possession and supply of like products.
  • And the trainer did not forget his back up team at Rosewell House either, adding ‘Many people were concerned in last Tuesday's effort and my staff did a wonderful job with Media Puzzle.’
involve oneself in, interest oneself in, take an interest in, be interested/involved in, take a hand in, busy oneself with, occupy oneself with, devote one's time to, bother oneself with, notice, take notice of
1.4 (be concerned with/to do something) Regard it as important to do something: I was mainly concerned with making something that children could enjoy
More example sentences
  • I think teenagers dare to be concerned with the most important issues and as they grow older they tend to get jaded.
  • Here, however, I shall not be concerned with these important nuances.
  • The first is charismatic leadership which is mainly concerned with carrying the hearts and minds of the people involved in the change.
2Make (someone) anxious or worried: the roof of the barn concerns me because eventually it will fall in don’t concern yourself, old boy—my lips are sealed
More example sentences
  • This bodybuilder admits that the cost concerns him, but he appears less worried about the health risks.
  • Still, the fact that enough other papers all but glossed over his troubles concerns me.
  • A chance remark by trainer Peter Niven a few weeks ago worried me then, and concerns me even more in retrospect.


1 [mass noun] Anxiety; worry: Carole gazed at her with concern
More example sentences
  • He was speaking in the wake of growing concern by holidaymakers worried about what will happen when the conflict begins in earnest.
  • If I don't do something soon I'm going to be getting letters voicing concern and worry that I've not been in contact.
  • We are naturally watching with some concern and care and anxiety what is occurring in your country.
1.1 [count noun] A cause of anxiety or worry: environmental concerns
More example sentences
  • Controversial plans to merge two primary schools were met with opposition as worried parents raised concerns over their children's safety.
  • This week Professor Hay will attend an inquest in Leeds into his wife's death at which he hopes to raise concerns about the safety of the drug.
  • Traffic troubles in front of the new Richmond High have raised safety concerns as well as irritated drivers.
affair, issue, matter, question, consideration
2A matter of interest or importance to someone: housing is the concern of the Housing Executive [mass noun]: the prospect should be of concern to us all
More example sentences
  • It is obvious that our children's needs and concerns extend over the whole spectrum of issues which are of concern to adults in our communities.
  • We will welcome your input on matters of concern to your community.
  • Compare the duration of this discussion with the time allocated to matters of concern to the general public.
area of activity, area of interest, province, preserve, department, sphere;
problem, worry, lookout
informal pigeon, baby, bag, funeral, headache, bailiwick
interest, importance;
be relevant to, have relevance for, have a bearing on, be applicable to
3A business: the town’s only travel agent was a small, debt-ridden concern
More example sentences
  • The land and its people that produce and process the products, form the organisation's business concerns.
  • The house became a business concern in 1995 after the death of the sixth Marquess.
  • Even the established business concerns in Vincent and adjacent to Western Avenue could make an effort to those concerned to clean up the area.
4 informal, dated A complicated or awkward object.



as (or so) far as —— is concerned

As regards the interests or case of ——: the measures are irrelevant as far as inflation is concerned
More example sentences
  • Of course, as far as India is concerned, the interest does not just lie in the thrills offered by the characters and circumstances.
  • Baxter has been used to attracting interest as far as the Scottish game is concerned.
  • On the other hand, we are less touchy about individual liberties and more prepared to believe that the government knows better as far as the public interest is concerned.

have no concern with

formal Have nothing to do with: drama seemed to have no concern with ‘truth’ at all
More example sentences
  • And if we're not talking about the Internet, I really have no concern with what cable does on their wires.
  • I had no concern with what baseball statistics are… I was concerned with what the statistics mean.
  • Since most members of Unison work for organisations such as local authorities, which have no concern with profit and loss, employers cannot be hit where it most hurts.

to whom it may concern

Used at the beginning of a letter, notice, or testimonial when the identity of the reader or readers is unknown.
Example sentences
  • Placed under house arrest in Salé, he regained his freedom only in May 2000 by order of Mohammed VI and immediately made public his second address: ‘Memorandum to whom it may concern.’
  • Dear to whom it may concern, I'm an American who just read your article on your website via, An Ameican website.
  • To whom it may concern - I am feeling a bit alienated right now; I know who I am, but others do not listen.


Late Middle English: from French concerner or late Latin concernere (in medieval Latin 'be relevant to'), from con- (expressing intensive force) + cernere 'sift, discern'.

  • crime from Middle English:

    The early meanings of crime were ‘wickedness’ and ‘sin’. The word comes via Old French from Latin crimen ‘judgement or offence’, which was based on cernere ‘to judge’ also in concern (Late Middle English), recriminate (early 17th century), and discern (Late Middle English). The expression crime doesn't pay was a slogan associated with the 1930s American radio crime series The Shadow, in which it was spoken by the Shadow at the end of each broadcast. It originated earlier, though, and was the title of a silent film in 1912.

Words that rhyme with concern

adjourn, astern, Berne, burn, churn, discern, earn, fern, fohn, kern, learn, Lucerne, quern, Sauternes, spurn, stern, Sterne, tern, terne, Traherne, turn, urn, Verne, yearn

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: con|cern

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