a. A concerned or troubled state of mind, as that arising from serious responsibility; worry.
b. An object or source of worry, attention, or solicitude: the many cares of a working parent.
c. Interest, regard, or liking: did not show the least care for her.
a. Close attention, as in doing something well or avoiding harm: painted the trim with care.
b. Upkeep; maintenance: a product for the care of fine floors; hair care products.
c. Watchful oversight; charge or supervision: left the child in the care of a neighbor.
3. Attentive assistance or treatment to those in need: a hospital that provides emergency care.
v. cared, car·ing, cares
1. To be concerned or interested: Once inside, we didn't care whether it rained or not.
2. To provide needed assistance or watchful supervision: cared for the wounded; caring for an aged relative at home.
3. To object or mind: If no one cares, I'll smoke.
a. To have a liking or attachment: didn't care for the movie.
b. To have a wish; be inclined: Would you care for another helping?
1. To wish; desire: Would you care to dance?
2. To be concerned to the degree of: I don't care a bit what critics think.
[Middle English, from Old English cearu.]
Synonyms: care, charge, custody, keeping, supervision, trust
These nouns refer to the function of watching, guarding, or overseeing: left the keys in my care; has charge of the library's rare books; took custody of the author's papers; left the canary in the neighbors' keeping; assumed supervision of the students; documents committed to the bank's trust.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.