- 1 [uncountable] the process of caring for somebody/something and providing what they need for their health or protection medical/patient care How much do men share housework and the care of the children? the provision of care for the elderly skin/hair care products see also community care, day care, easy-care, health care, intensive care See related entries: Medical equipment, Raising children
- 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 which is easily broken or damaged) Synonymscarecaution prudenceThese are all words for attention or thought that you give to something in order to avoid mistakes or accidents.care 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:The utmost caution must be exercised when handling explosives.prudence (rather formal) being sensible and careful when you make judgements and decisions; avoiding unnecessary risks:As a matter of prudence, keep a record of all your financial transactions. 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
- 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. Word Familycare noun verbcareful adjective (≠careless)carefully adverb (≠carelessly)caring adjective (≠uncaring) Word Origin Old English caru (noun), carian (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Old High German chara
- 1 to care for somebody/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. Which Word?take care of / look after / care for You can take care of or, especially in British English, look after 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/look after the kids while we’re away. You can borrow my camera if you promise to take care of/look after it. In more formal language you can also care for someone:She does some voluntary work, caring for the elderly, but care for is more commonly used to mean ‘like’:I don’t really care for spicy food.
- 2 to 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.
(abbreviation c/o) used when writing to somebody at another person’s address Write to him care of his lawyer. (British English) (of children) living in an institution run by the local authority rather than with their parents The two girls were taken into care after their parents were killed. being cared for by somebody The child was left in the care of friends. You won’t come to any harm while you’re in their care. (informal) used when saying goodbye Bye! Take care! to be careful Take care (that) you don’t drink too much! Care should be taken to close the lid securely.