American English

Definition of care noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[uncountable] the process of caring for someone or something and providing what they need for their health or protection medical/patient care How much do men share child care? the provision of care for the elderly skin/hair care products see also day care, easy-care, healthcare, intensive care, managed care
  2. 2[uncountable] attention or thought that you give to something that you are doing so that you will do it well and avoid mistakes or damage She chose her words with care. Great care is needed when choosing a used car. Fragile—handle with care (= written on a container holding something that is easily broken or damaged)
  3. 3[countable, usually plural, uncountable] (formal) a feeling of worry or anxiety; something that causes problems or anxiety I felt free from the cares of the day as soon as I left the building. Sam looked as if he didn't have a care in the world.
  4. Thesauruscarecaution prudenceThese are all words for attention or thought that you give to something in order to avoid mistakes or attention or thought that you give to something that you are doing so that you will do it well and avoid mistakes or damage:She chose her words with care.caution care that you take in order to avoid danger or mistakes; not taking any risks:He drove with caution on the icy roads.prudence (somewhat formal) being sensible and careful when you make judgments and decisions; avoiding unnecessary risks:The bank conducted its business with great prudence. Prudence is used particularly in financial contexts.Patterns to do something with care/caution/prudence great/extreme care/caution/prudence to use/exercise care/caution/prudence to proceed with care/caution Which Word?take care of somebody/something / care for somebody You can take care of someone who is very young, very old, or sick, or something that needs keeping in good condition:We’ve asked my mother to take care of the kids while we’re away. You can borrow my camera if you promise to take care of it. In more formal language, you can also care for someone:She does some volunteer work, caring for the elderly, but care for is more commonly used to mean “like”:I don’t really care for spicy food.Word Familycare noun verbcareful adjective (careless)carefully adverb (carelessly)caring adjective (uncaring)care noun verbcareful adjective (careless)carefully adverb (carelessly)caring adjective (uncaring)Idioms
    care of somebody (also in care of somebody) (abbreviation c/o)
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    used when writing to someone at another person's address Write to him care of his lawyer.
    in the care of somebody/in somebody's care
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    being cared for by someone The child was left in the care of friends. No harm will come to you while you're in their care.
    take care (informal)
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    used when saying goodbye Bye! Take care!
    take care (that…/to do something)
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    to be careful Take care (that) you don't drink too much! Care should be taken to close the lid securely.
      take care of somebody/something/yourself
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    1. 1to care for someone or something/yourself; to be careful about something Who's taking care of the children while you're away? She takes great care of her clothes. He's old enough to take care of himself. You should take better care of yourself.
    2. 2to be responsible for or to deal with a situation or task Don't worry about the travel arrangements. They're all being taken care of. Celia takes care of the marketing side of things.
    under the care of somebody
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    receiving medical care from someone He's under the care of Dr. Parks. refugees under the care of the relief agencies
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: care