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.

Primary Meanings of care

the work of providing treatment for or attending to someone or something
be in charge of, act on, or dispose of
judiciousness in avoiding harm or danger
be concerned with
prefer or wish to do something
Full Definitions of care

n 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

n activity involved in maintaining something in good working order

“he wrote the manual on car care
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

n 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

v 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
arrange, order, put, set up
arrange thoughts, ideas, 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

v 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

n judiciousness in avoiding harm or danger

“he handled the vase with care
caution, forethought, precaution
Type of:
good judgment

n a cause for feeling concern

“his major care was the illness of his wife”
Type of:
plight, predicament, quandary
a situation from which extrication is difficult especially an unpleasant or trying one

n an anxious feeling

care had aged him”
concern, fear
Type of:
a vague unpleasant emotion that is experienced in anticipation of some (usually ill-defined) misfortune

v be concerned with

brood, dwell
think moodily or anxiously about something
Type of:
be concerned with or about something or somebody

v feel concern or interest

“I really care about my work”
“I don't care
Type of:
compassionate, condole with, feel for, pity, sympathize with
share the suffering of

v prefer or wish to do something

“Do you care to try this dish?”
like, wish
be the will of or have the will (to)
Type of:
desire, want
feel or have a desire for; want strongly

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