[ kuhn-surn ]
/ kənˈsɜrn /
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See synonyms for: concern / concerned / concerning / concerns on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object)
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Origin of concern

1375–1425; late Middle English concernen (<Middle French concerner) <Medieval Latin concernere to relate to, distinguish (Late Latin: to mix for sifting), equivalent to Latin con-con- + cernere to sift


o·ver·con·cern, noun, verb (used with object)pre·con·cern, noun, verb (used with object)self-con·cern, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What are other ways to say concern?

As a noun, concern means “worry, solicitude, or anxiety.” How does concern compare to care and worry? Learn more on Thesaurus.com.


What is a basic definition of concern?

Concern means to relate to or to affect, to interest or engage, or to worry. Concern also has several senses as a noun.

If an issue or problem concerns someone, it means that it involves them or will affect them personally.

  • Real-life examples: The price of gas concerns drivers. Stock market prices concern investors. Global warming concerns everyone.
  • Used in a sentence: Our conversation doesn’t concern you, so leave us alone. 

As a noun, this sense of concern means something that is closely related to something else or something that is a main focus.

  • Used in a sentence: Fires are the concern of the fire department. 

Concern can also mean to interest someone or draw their attention. In this sense, it is often followed by with or in.

  • Real-life examples: You might concern yourself with your friend’s problem because you care about them. When you’re taking a test, your teacher might remind students to be concerned only with their own papers. Your parents concern themselves with your health.
  • Used in a sentence: Chuck doesn’t concern himself with other people’s problems. 

Concern is used as a noun in this sense to mean a matter or issue that a person cares about.

  • Used in a sentence: What my neighbors do to their lawn is no concern of mine. 

Lastly, concern means to worry or cause anxiety.

  • Real-life examples: You might be concerned about your grades. Politicians are often concerned about whether voters will keep voting for them. Your friend might be concerned about whether you both make the basketball team.
  • Used in a sentence: Her brother’s failing health really concerns Joelene,  and she has been losing sleep over it. 

As a noun, concern is a synonym of words such as worry or anxiety.

  • Used in a sentence: We try to ease parents’ concern by showing them that the school is completely safe and monitored. 

Where does concern come from?

The first records of concern come from around 1375. It ultimately comes from the Medieval Latin concernere, meaning “to relate to” or “to distinguish.”

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What are some other forms related to concern?

  • concerning (preposition, adjective, present tense verb)
  • unconcern (noun)
  • unconcerned (adjective)
  • overconcern (noun, verb)
  • preconcern (noun, verb)
  • self-concern (noun)

What are some synonyms for concern?

What are some words that share a root or word element with concern

What are some words that often get used in discussing concern?

How is concern used in real life?

Concern is a common word that often means something matters to someone or causes them anxiety.

Try using concern!

Which of the following words is a synonym of concern?

A. relief
B. worry
C. apathy
D. happiness

How to use concern in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for concern

/ (kənˈsɜːn) /

verb (tr)
to relate to; be of importance or interest to; affect
(usually foll by with or in) to involve or interest (oneself)he concerns himself with other people's affairs

Word Origin for concern

C15: from Late Latin concernere to mingle together, from Latin com- together + cernere to sift, distinguish
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Other Idioms and Phrases with concern


see as far as that goes (is concerned); to whom it may concern.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.