care

[ kair ]
/ kɛər /

noun

verb (used without object), cared, car·ing.

verb (used with object), cared, car·ing.

to feel concern about: He doesn't care what others say.
to wish; desire; like: Would you care to dance?

Idioms

Origin of care

before 900; (noun) Middle English; Old English caru, cearu, cognate with Gothic kara, Old High German chara “lament”

Related forms

car·er, nounnon·car·ing, adjectiveo·ver·care, nounun·car·ing, adjective

Synonym study

1. See concern. 3. To take care, pains, trouble (to do something) implies watchful, conscientious effort to do something exactly right. To take care implies the performance of one particular detail: She took care to close the cover before striking the match. To take pains suggests a sustained carefulness, an effort to see that nothing is overlooked but that every small detail receives attention: to take pains with fine embroidery. To take trouble implies an effort that requires a considerable amount of activity and exertion: to take the trouble to make suitable arrangements.

Usage note

13. Couldn't care less, a phrase used to express indifference, is sometimes heard as could care less, which ought to mean the opposite but is intended to be synonymous with the former phrase. Both versions are common mainly in informal speech.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for couldn't care less (1 of 2)

care

/ (kɛə) /

verb

noun

Word Origin for care

Old English cearu (n), cearian (vb), of Germanic origin; compare Old High German chara lament, Latin garrīre to gossip

British Dictionary definitions for couldn't care less (2 of 2)

CARE

/ (kɛə) /

n acronym for

Cooperative for American Relief Everywhere, Inc.; a federation of US charities, giving financial and technical assistance to many regions of the world
communicated authenticity, regard, empathy: the three qualities believed to be essential in the therapist practising client-centred therapy
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

Idioms and Phrases with couldn't care less (1 of 2)

couldn't care less


Also, could care less. Be completely indifferent. For example, Pick whatever dessert you want; I couldn't care less, or I could care less about the editor's opinion. This expression originated about 1940 in Britain and for a time invariably used couldn't. About 1960 could was occasionally substituted, and today both versions are used with approximately equal frequency, despite their being antonyms.

Idioms and Phrases with couldn't care less (2 of 2)

care


In addition to the idiom beginning with care

  • care package

also see:

  • couldn't care less
  • for all (I care)
  • in care of
  • in charge (the care of)
  • take care
  • take care of
  • tender loving care
  • that's (takes care of) that
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.