- a usually rectangular piece of stiff paper, thin pasteboard, or plastic for various uses, as to write information on or printed as a means of identifying the holder: a 3″ × 5″ file card; a membership card.
- one of a set of thin pieces of cardboard with spots, figures, etc., used in playing various games; playing card.
- cards, (usually used with a singular verb)
- a game or games played with such a set.
- the playing of such a game: to win at cards.
- Casino.the winning of 27 cards or more.
- Whist.tricks won in excess of six.
- Also called greeting card. a piece of paper or thin cardboard, usually folded, printed with a message of holiday greeting, congratulations, or other sentiment, often with an illustration or decorations, for mailing to a person on an appropriate occasion.
- something useful in attaining an objective, as a course of action or position of strength, comparable to a high card held in a game: If negotiation fails, we still have another card to play.
- a specified topic that elicits strong reactions, brought up as part of a strategic move to gain an advantage: She was accused of playing the gender card when her male boss passed her over for promotion. He pulled the race card by branding his Muslim opponent as radical.
- calling card(def 1).
- a program of the events at races, boxing matches, etc.
- a menu or wine list.
- compass card.
- trading card.
- a person who is amusing or facetious.
- any person, especially one with some indicated characteristic: a queer card.
- to provide with a card.
- to fasten on a card.
- to write, list, etc., on cards.
- Slang. to examine the identity card or papers of: The bartender was carding all youthful customers to be sure they were of legal drinking age.
- in/on the cards, impending or likely; probable: A reorganization is in the cards.
- play one's cards right, to act cleverly, sensibly, or cautiously: If you play your cards right, you may get mentioned in her will.
- put one's cards on the table, to be completely straightforward and open; conceal nothing: He always believed in putting his cards on the table.
Origin of card1
- a machine for combing and paralleling fibers of cotton, flax, wool, etc., prior to spinning to remove short, undesirable fibers and produce a sliver.
- a similar implement for raising the nap on cloth.
- to dress (wool or the like) with a card.
- card out, Printing. to add extra space between lines of text, so as to fill out a page or column or give the text a better appearance.
Origin of card2
Related Wordssheet, poster, label, program, calendar, ticket, badge, check, square, schedule, docket, billet, tally, identification, voucher, agenda, pass, timetable, cardboard, fiberboard
Examples from the Web for card
A canvasser will knock on their door and ask voters to sign the card.The Democrats’ Simple Midterm Weapon
November 4, 2014
And Fred stuck in the card for me that said, “Live from New York…” and gave me a hug.How Aidy Bryant Stealthily Became Your Favorite ‘Saturday Night Live’ Star
October 31, 2014
Maybe he had been at a card game—wherever he was, it was late and he was speeding in the rain.Those Kansas City Blues: A Family History
October 24, 2014
I was touring the film festival circuit with my latest film, Holy Rollers: The True Story of Card Counting Christians.Jesus Said Knock You Out: In ‘Fight Church’ Christians Beat Thy Neighbor
September 16, 2014
I can hear Cat rustling her card and opening it and saying my name.'So You Think You Can Dance' Winner Ricky Ubeda Is Adorable, and Tired
September 4, 2014
He took the card from the florist's envelope and glanced at the name.
He left her studying the card with a curious little flash of surprise.
Then I came for her; I saved her sister; then I saw the name on the card and would not give my own.Malbone
Thomas Wentworth Higginson
For his own part, he was no card expert, and he smiled as Henry made his offer.
There was no further mention of the troubles of that card game.
- a piece of stiff paper or thin cardboard, usually rectangular, with varied uses, as for filing information in an index, bearing a written notice for display, entering scores in a game, etc
- such a card used for identification, reference, proof of membership, etclibrary card; identity card; visiting card
- such a card used for sending greetings, messages, or invitations, often bearing an illustration, printed greetings, etcChristmas card; birthday card
- one of a set of small pieces of cardboard, variously marked with significant figures, symbols, etc, used for playing games or for fortune-telling
- short for playing card
- (as modifier)a card game
- (in combination)cardsharp
- informal a witty, entertaining, or eccentric person
- short for cheque card, credit card
- See compass card
- Also called: race card horse racing a daily programme of all the races at a meeting, listing the runners, riders, weights to be carried, distances to be run, and conditions of each race
- a thing or action used in order to gain an advantage, esp one that is concealed and kept in reserve until needed (esp in the phrase a card up one's sleeve)
- short for printed circuit cardSee printed circuit board
- (tr) to comb out and clean fibres of wool or cotton before spinning
- (formerly) a machine or comblike tool for carding fabrics or for raising the nap on cloth
Word Origin and History for card
c.1400, "playing card," from Middle French carte (14c.), from Latin charta "leaf of paper, tablet," from Greek khartes "layer of papyrus," probably from Egyptian. Form influenced after 14c. by Italian carta (see chart (n.)).
Sense of "playing cards" also is oldest in French. Sense in English extended by 1590s to similar small, flat, stiff bits of paper. Meaning "printed ornamental greetings for special occasions" is from 1869. Application to clever or original persons (1836, originally with an adjective, e.g. smart card) is from the playing-card sense, via expressions such as sure card "an expedient certain to attain an object" (c.1560).
Card table is from 1713. Card-sharper is 1859. House of cards in the figurative sense is from 1640s, first attested in Milton. To have a card up (one's) sleeve is 1898; to play the _______ card is from 1886, originally the Orange card, meaning "appeal to Northern Irish Protestant sentiment (for political advantage)."
1540s, "to play cards" (now obsolete), from card (n.1). From 1925 as "to write (something) on a card for filing." Meaning "require (someone) to show ID" is from 1970s. Related: Carded; carding.
"machine for combing," late 14c. (mid-14c. in surname Cardmaker), from Old French carde "card, teasel," from Old Provençal cardo or some other Romanic source (cf. Spanish and Italian carda "thistle, tease, card," back-formation from cardar "to card" (see card (v.1)). The English word probably also comes via Anglo-Latin cardo, from Medieval Latin carda "a teasel," from Latin carduus.
Idioms and Phrases with card
In addition to the idioms beginning with card
- card in
- cards are stacked against
- card up one's sleeve
- hold all the aces (the trump card)
- house of cards
- in the cards
- lay one's cards on the table
- play one's cards close to one's chest
play one's cards righttrump cardwild card.