To care is to feel concern, and care is attention given, tending, or upkeep. If you care about how your garden grows, you will take care to water it often, remove weeds, and talk to your plants about the weather.

Care can be a noun or a verb. As a noun, it originally had the sense of “sorrow, anxiety” or “serious mental attention,” and now means “oversight, protection.” If you have a fragile package, you might write “handle with care” on the box. As a verb, care means “to feel concern or interest” — as in, “If you care about your health you’ll put down that cigarette!” If someone says she “couldn’t care less,” then she does not care at all.

Definitions of care
  1. noun

    the work of providing treatment for or attending to someone or something

    “no medical
    care was required”
    aid, attention, tending
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    hair care, haircare, hairdressing

    care for the hair: the activity of washing or cutting or curling or arranging the hair

    motherly care; behavior characteristic of a mother; the practice of acting as a mother does toward her children
    baby sitting, babysitting

    the work of a baby sitter; caring for children when their parents are not home
    pet sitting

    the work of a pet sitter; caring for pets in their own home while their owners are away from home
    dental care

    care for the teeth
    first aid

    emergency care given before regular medical aid can be obtained
    intervention, treatment

    care provided to improve a situation (especially medical procedures or applications that are intended to relieve illness or injury)

    maintaining something at the most favorable temperature for its development

    the care (feeding and stabling) of horses for pay

    professional care for the hands and fingernails

    professional care for the feet and toenails

    the act of nourishing

    the work of caring for the sick or injured or infirm
    TLC, tender loving care

    considerate and solicitous care

    physical and emotional care and nourishment
    personal care

    care for someone who is disabled or is otherwise unable to care for themselves; can including bathing and cooking and managing bodily functions
    skin care, skincare

    care for the skin
    faith cure, faith healing

    care provided through prayer and faith in God
    tree surgery

    treatment of damaged or decaying trees
    health care, healthcare

    the preservation of mental and physical health by preventing or treating illness through services offered by the health profession
    brush, brushing

    the act of brushing your hair
    comb, combing

    the act of drawing a comb through hair

    the act of washing your hair with shampoo

    the act of interweaving a hairpiece with your own hair
    brush, brushing

    the act of brushing your teeth
    medical aid, medical care

    professional treatment for illness or injury

    kneading and rubbing parts of the body to increase circulation and promote relaxation

    a method of therapy that involves physical or electrical therapeutic treatment

    care for the face that usually involves cleansing and massage and the application of cosmetic creams

    a treatment for addiction to drugs or alcohol intended to remove the physiological effects of the addictive substances
    laying on of hands

    the application of a faith healer’s hands to the patient’s body

    a method of treatment that manipulates body structures (especially the spine) to relieve low back pain or even headache or high blood pressure

    application of warm wet coverings to a part of the body to relieve pain and inflammation

    a method of treating disease using food and exercise and heat to assist the natural healing process

    a drugless method of treatment based on the belief that disease symptoms arise from problems with ligaments and connective tissues
    orthodontic treatment

    dental treatment that corrects irregularities of the teeth or of the relation of the teeth to surrounding anatomy; treatment is usually by braces or mechanical aids

    treatment of defects of binocular vision (such as strabismus and amblyopia) by nonsurgical measures (especially by exercises to strengthen the eye muscles)

    therapy based on the assumption that restoring health is best accomplished by manipulating the skeleton and muscles

    treatment of a skeletal deformity by intentionally fracturing a bone
    acupuncture, stylostixis

    treatment of pain or disease by inserting the tips of needles at specific points on the skin
    G-Jo, acupressure, shiatsu

    treatment of symptoms by applying pressure with the fingers to specific pressure points on the body
    autogenic therapy, autogenic training, autogenics

    training patients in self-induced relaxation
    hydropathy, hydrotherapy

    the internal and external use of water in the treatment of disease

    rest as a medical treatment for stress or anxiety etc.
    type of:


    activity directed toward making or doing something

  2. noun

    activity involved in maintaining something in good working order

    “he wrote the manual on car
    maintenance, upkeep
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    camera care

    keeping a camera in good working order
    car care

    keeping a car in good working order
    inspection and repair, overhaul, service

    periodic maintenance on a car or machine
    pump priming

    introducing water into a pump to improve the seal and start the water flowing
    scheduled maintenance

    maintenance at a regularly scheduled time
    steam fitting

    care (installation and maintenance) of equipment for ventilating or heating or refrigerating
    oil change

    replacing dirty oil with clean
    interim overhaul

    an overhaul between the regular times for overhauling
    type of:

    fix, fixing, fixture, mend, mending, repair, reparation

    the act of putting something in working order again

  3. noun

    attention and management implying responsibility for safety

    “he is in the
    care of a bodyguard”
    charge, guardianship, tutelage
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    due care, ordinary care, reasonable care

    the care that a reasonable man would exercise under the circumstances; the standard for determining legal duty
    foster care

    supervised care for delinquent or neglected children usually in an institution or substitute home
    great care

    more attention and consideration than is normally bestowed by prudent persons

    the guardianship and control exercised by a deity
    slight care

    such care as a careless or inattentive person would exercise
    type of:


    the activity of protecting someone or something

  4. verb

    be in charge of, act on, or dispose of

    deal, handle, manage
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    administer, administrate

    work in an administrative capacity; supervise or be in charge of
    organise, organize

    cause to be structured or ordered or operating according to some principle or idea

    cause to operate or function
    come to grips, get to grips

    deal with (a problem or a subject)
    dispose of

    deal with or settle
    mind, take care

    be in charge of or deal with

    bring into common action, movement, or condition

    deal with simultaneously

    deal with in a routine way
    misconduct, mishandle, mismanage

    manage badly or incompetently

    be in charge of
    carry on, conduct, deal

    direct the course of; manage or control

    deal with; usually used with a form of negation

    organize and oversee items in a collection or exhibit

    plan, manage, or direct with subtle and skillful maneuvering
    arrange, order, put, set up

    arrange thoughts, ideas, or temporal events
    give, have, hold, make, throw

    organize or be responsible for
    rationalise, rationalize

    structure and run according to rational or scientific principles in order to achieve desired results

    administer a pontifical office
    territorialise, territorialize

    organize as a territory
    reorganise, reorganize, shake up

    organize anew
    collectivise, collectivize

    bring under collective control; of farms and industrial enterprises

    manage or run
    guide, steer

    be a guiding or motivating force or drive
    head, lead

    be in charge of
    manage, oversee, superintend, supervise

    watch and direct
    operate, run

    direct or control; projects, businesses, etc.

    carry on illegal business activities involving crime

    direct the taking of
    type of:

    command, control

    exercise authoritative control or power over

  5. verb

    provide care for

    “The nurse was
    caring for the wounded”
    give care
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    take care of an infant without breastfeeding it
    attend, look, see, take care

    take charge of or deal with
    fuss, mother, overprotect

    care for like a mother

    serve as a nurse; care for sick or handicapped people

    attend to the wants and needs of others

    have care of or look after
    type of:

    aid, assist, help

    give help or assistance; be of service

  6. noun

    judiciousness in avoiding harm or danger

    “he handled the vase with
    caution, forethought, precaution
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    type of:


    good judgment

  7. noun

    a cause for feeling concern

    “his major
    care was the illness of his wife”
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    type of:

    morass, plight, predicament, quagmire, quandary

    a situation from which extrication is difficult especially an unpleasant or trying one

  8. noun

    an anxious feeling

    care had aged him”
    concern, fear
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    type of:


    a vague unpleasant emotion that is experienced in anticipation of some (usually ill-defined) misfortune

  9. verb

    be concerned with

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    brood, dwell

    think moodily or anxiously about something
    type of:


    be concerned with or about something or somebody

  10. verb

    feel concern or interest

    “I really
    care about my work”
    “I don’t

  11. verb

    prefer or wish to do something

    “Do you
    care to try this dish?”
    like, wish
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    be the will of or have the will (to)
    type of:

    desire, want

    feel or have a desire for; want strongly

Word Family