Etymology: Middle English, from Old English caru; akin to Old High German kara lament, Old Irish gairm call, cry, Latin garrire to chatter
Date: before 12th century
1. suffering of mind ; grief
a. a disquieted state of mixed uncertainty, apprehension, and responsibility
b. a cause for such anxiety
a. painstaking or watchful attention
b. maintenance <floor-care products> 4. regard coming from desire or esteem 5. charge, supervision <under a doctor's care> 6. a person or thing that is an object of attention, anxiety, or solicitude Synonyms: care, concern, solicitude, anxiety, worry mean a troubled or engrossed state of mind or the thing that causes this. care implies oppression of the mind weighed down by responsibility or disquieted by apprehension <a face worn by years of care>. concern implies a troubled state of mind because of personal interest, relation, or affection <crimes caused concern in the neighborhood>. solicitude implies great concern and connotes either thoughtful or hovering attentiveness toward another <acted with typical maternal solicitude>. anxiety stresses anguished uncertainty or fear of misfortune or failure <plagued by anxiety and self-doubt>. worry suggests fretting over matters that may or may not be real cause for anxiety <financial worries>. II. verb (cared; caring) Date: before 12th century intransitive verb 1. a. to feel trouble or anxiety b. to feel interest or concern <care about freedom> 2. to give care <care for the sick> 3. a. to have a liking, fondness, or taste <don't care for your attitude> b. to have an inclination <would you care for some pie> transitive verb 1. to be concerned about or to the extent of <don't care what they say> <doesn't care a damn> 2. wish <if you care to go> • carer noun
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.