to think that something is important and to feel interested in it or upset about it
She's never cared very much about her appearance.
verb (cares, caring, cared )
to think that somebody or something is important:
The only thing he cares about is money.
I don't care who wins – I'm not interested in football.
It is not polite to say I don't care, Who cares? or I couldn't care less. You can say I don't mind instead: Would you like tea or coffee? – I don't mind.
care for somebody to do the things for somebody that they need:
After the accident, her parents cared for her until she was better.
II. care2 S1 W2 BrE AmE verb [intransitive and transitive]
[Word Family: noun: ↑care, ↑carer; adjective: ↑careful ≠ ↑careless, ↑caring ≠ UNCARING; verb: ↑care; adverb: ↑carefully ≠ ↑carelessly]
1. to think that something is important, so that you are interested in it, worried about it etc
The only thing he seems to care about is money.
care what/how/whether etc
She didn’t care what her father thought.
‘He looked angry.’ ‘I don’t care!’
2. to be concerned about what happens to someone, because you like or love them ⇨ caring
I care about him and hate to see him hurt like this.
She felt that nobody cared.
3. who cares? spoken used to say that something does not worry or upset you because it is not important:
It’s rather old and scruffy, but who cares?
4. see if I care! spoken used when you are angry or upset, to say that you do not care about what someone will do:
Go with William, then – see if I care!
5. somebody couldn’t care less spoken used to say that someone does not care at all about something:
I really couldn’t care less what you think!
6. what does somebody care? spoken used to say that someone does not care at all about something:
What do I care? It’s your responsibility now!
7. as if I cared! spoken used to say that something is not important to you at all:
As if I cared whether he comes with us or not!
8. for all somebody cares spoken used when you are angry that someone does not seem concerned about someone or something:
We could be starving for all they care!
9. not care to do something old-fashioned to not like doing something:
She doesn’t care to spend much time with her relatives.
I wouldn’t care to meet him in a dark alley!
I’ve experienced more reorganizations than I care to remember (=a lot of them).
10. any ... you care to name/mention any thing of a particular kind:
Virtually any piece of equipment you care to name can be hired these days.
11. would you care to do something? spoken formal used to ask someone politely whether they want to do something:
Would you care to join us for dinner?
• • •
▪ take care of somebody (also look after somebody especially British English) to make sure a child or an old or sick person is safe and has the things they need: I have to look after my little brother. | Taking care of a baby is hard work. | She is taking care of her grandmother while her grandfather is in hospital.
▪ care for somebody to take care of someone. Care for somebody is less common and more formal than take care of/look after somebody: He was cared for by a team of nurses. | Caring for an elderly relative can be very rewarding.
▪ nurse to look after someone who is ill: He nursed his wife through a long illness. | The monks nursed him back to health (=looked after him until he was well again).
▪ babysit to look after children in the evening while their parents go out somewhere: I’ll ask Jane to babysit on Wednesday night. | He used to babysit for Mary when she worked nights.
▪ mind British English to look after a child while their parents are not there, especially for a short time: Will you mind the baby while I go to the shop?
care for somebody/something phrasal verb
1. to look after someone who is not able to look after themselves SYN take care of:
He thanked the nurses who had cared for him.
The children are well cared for.
2. to do things that keep something in good condition:
Instructions on caring for your new sofa are included.
3. would you care for something? spoken formal used to ask someone politely if they would like something:
Would you care for another drink?
4. not care for somebody/something formal to not like someone or something:
I don’t much care for his parents.
verb (not used in the progressive tenses)
1. intransitive, transitive to feel that sth is important and worth worrying about
• I don't care (= I will not be upset) if I never see him again!
• He threatened to fire me, as if I cared!
• ~ about sth She cares deeply about environmental issues.
• ~ what/whether, etc. I don't care what he thinks.
• ~ that… She doesn't seem to care that he's been married four times before.
2. intransitive ~ (about sb) to like or love sb and worry about what happens to them
• He genuinely cares about his employees.
• They care an awful lot about each other.
3. transitive ~ to do sth to make the effort to do sth
• I've done this job more times than I care to remember.
more at not care/give a damn at damn n., not care/give a fig at fig n., not care/give a hootnot care/give two hoots at hoot n., not care/give tuppence for sb/sth at tuppence
Old English caru (noun), carian (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Old High German chara ‘grief, lament’, charon ‘grieve’, and Old Norse kǫr ‘sickbed’.
care verb I
• I don't care what he thinks!
mind • |especially BrE, informal, spoken be bothered •
care/mind/be bothered about sth
care/mind/be bothered that…
not care/mind/be bothered what people think
Care or mind? Mind is used in polite questions and answers. When answering a question I don't mind is polite; I don't care is very rude.
care noun verb
careful adjective (≠ careless)
carefully adverb (≠ carelessly)
caring adjective (≠ uncaring)
offers and invitations
Would you like…? is the most usual polite question form for offers and invitations, especially in BrE: ▪ Would you like a cup of coffee?
Do you want…? is less formal and more direct. It is more common in NAmE than in BrE: ▪ We’re going to a club tonight. Do you want to come with us?
Would you care…? is very formal and now sounds old-fashioned.
like • be fond of sb • adore • be devoted to sb • care for sb • dote on sb
These words all mean to have feelings of love or affection for sb.
love • to have strong feelings of affection for sb: ▪ I love you.
like • to find sb pleasant and enjoy being with them: ▪ She's nice. I like her.
be fond of sb • to feel affection for sb, especially sb you have known for a long time: ▪ I've always been very fond of your mother.
adore • to love sb very much: ▪ It's obvious that she adores him.
be devoted to sb • to love sb very much and be loyal to them: ▪ They are devoted to their children.
care for sb • to love sb, especially in a way that is based on strong affection or a feeling of wanting to protect them, rather than sex: ▪ He cared for her more than she realized.
Care for sb is often used when sb has not told anyone about their feelings or is just starting to be aware of them. It is also used when sb wishes that sb loved them, or doubts that sb does: ▪ If he really cared for you, he wouldn't behave like that.
dote on sb • to feel and show great love for sb, ignoring their faults: ▪ He dotes on his children.
to really love/like/adore/care for/dote on sb
to be really/genuinely fond of/devoted to sb
to love/like/care for sb very much
• He hardly cares what he does any more.
• He really cares about the environment.
• I don't know which she chose, nor do I greatly care.
• I'm past caring what he does.
• No one actually cared what I thought.
• The information is there for anyone who cares enough to find it.
• You genuinely care for him, don't you?
• He genuinely cares about his customers.
• He threatened to leave me, as if I cared!
• I don't care what he thinks!
• I don't care if I never see him again!
• She cares passionately about environmental issues.
• She doesn't seem to care that he's been married four times before.
See also: in care of somebody
Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary - 4th Edition
care / keə r / / ker / verb [ I ] (WORRY)
B1 to think that something is important and to feel interested in it or upset about it:
She's never cared very much about her appearance.
[ + question word ] I really don't care wh ether we go out or not.
I don't care how much it costs, just buy it.
"Was Lorna happy about the arrangements?" "I don't know and I don't care."
Your parents are only doing this because they care about (= love) you.
I couldn't care less C1 informal used to emphasize rudely that you are not interested in or worried about something or someone:
"Mike's really fed up about it." "I couldn't care less."
for all I care informal used to say that you are not interested in or worried about what someone else is doing:
You can go to the match with Paula, for all I care.
as if I care informal used to say that you are not interested in or worried about something that has happened or that someone has said:
He said he didn't approve of what I'd done, as if I cared.
who cares? B2 informal used to emphasize rudely that you do not think something is important:
"It looks as if we are going to lose." "Who cares?".
care / keə r / / ker / verb [ I ] formal (WANT)
used in polite offers and suggestions:
Would you care for a drink?
[ + to infinitive ] Would you care to join us for dinner?
© Cambridge University Press 2013
cares, caring, cared
1) VERB: no cont If you care about something, you feel that it is important and are concerned about it.
[V about n] ...a company that cares about the environment.
[V wh] ...young men who did not care whether they lived or died...
Does anybody know we're here, does anybody care?
2) VERB: no cont (approval) If you care for someone, you feel a lot of affection for them.
[V for/about n] He wanted me to know that he still cared for me.
[V for/about n] ...people who are your friends, who care about you. [Also V]
caring N-UNCOUNT ...the `feminine' traits of caring and compassion.
3) VERB If you care for someone or something, you look after them and keep them in a good state or condition.
[V for n] They hired a nurse to care for her.
[V for n] ...these distinctive cars, lovingly cared for by private owners.
[V-ed] ...well-cared-for homes.
N-UNCOUNT: usu with supp
Care is also a noun. Most of the staff specialise in the care of children. ...sensitive teeth which need special care... She denied the murder of four children who were in her care.
4) N-UNCOUNT: oft in N Children who are in care are looked after by the state because their parents are dead or unable to look after them properly. [BRIT]
...a home for children in care...
She was taken into care as a baby.
5) VERB: no cont, with brd-neg If you say that you do not care for something or someone, you mean that you do not like them. [OLD-FASHIONED]
[V for n] She had met both sons and did not care for either.
6) VERB: no cont If you say that someone does something when they care to do it, you mean that they do it, although they should do it more willingly or more often.
[V to-inf] The woman tells anyone who cares to listen that she's going through hell...
[V to-inf] Experts reveal only as much as they care to.
7) VERB: no cont (politeness) You can ask someone if they would care for something or if they would care to do something as a polite way of asking if they would like to have or do something.
[V for n] Would you care for some orange juice?...
[V to-inf] He said he was off to the beach and would we care to join him.
8) N-UNCOUNT: oft with N If you do something with care, you give careful attention to it because you do not want to make any mistakes or cause any damage.
Condoms are an effective method of birth control if used with care...
We'd taken enormous care in choosing the location.
9) N-COUNT Your cares are your worries, anxieties, or fears.
Lean back in a hot bath and forget all the cares of the day...
Johnson seemed without a care in the world.
10) → See also caring, after-care, day care, intensive care
11) PHRASE: V inflects, PHR with cl (emphasis) You can use for all I care to emphasize that it does not matter at all to you what someone does.
You can go right now for all I care.
12) PHRASE: V inflects, oft PHR about n (emphasis) If you say that you couldn't care less about someone or something, you are emphasizing that you are not interested in them or worried about them. In American English, you can also say that you could care less, with the same meaning.
I couldn't care less about the bloody woman...
Personally, I couldn't have cared less whether the ice-cream came from Italy or England...
I used to be proud working for them; now I could care less. I'm just out here for the money...
Personally, I could care less whether the Giants come or not.
13) PHRASE: PHR n If someone sends you a letter or parcel care of a particular person or place, they send it to that person or place, and it is then passed on to you. In American English, you can also say in care of.
Please write to me care of the publishers...
I addressed their letters in care of the bars and clubs where I'd known them.
14) PHRASE: V inflects, PHR n If you take care of someone or something, you look after them and prevent them from being harmed or damaged.
There was no one else to take care of their children...
You have to learn to take care of your possessions.
15) CONVENTION (formulae) You can say `Take care' when saying goodbye to someone.
16) PHRASE: V inflects, usu PHR to-inf If you take care to do something, you make sure that you do it.
Foley followed Albert through the gate, taking care to close the latch.
17) PHRASE: V inflects, PHR n To take care of a problem, task, or situation means to deal with it.
They leave it to the system to try and take care of the problem...
`Do you need clean sheets?' `No. Mrs. May took care of that.'
18) PHRASE: oft PHR about n (emphasis) You can say `Who cares?' to emphasize that something does not matter to you at all.
Who cares about some stupid vacation...
`But we might ruin the stove.' - `Who cares?'
2care verb cares; cared; car·ing
1 : to feel interest in something : to be interested in or concerned about something
• He doesn't care if he gets fired.
- often + about
• I don't care about your little problems.
• He cares deeply about religion.
• I care what happens to her.
2 [no obj] : to feel affection for someone
• On Valentine's Day, send her flowers to show that you care.
• I didn't know you cared.
3 [no obj] somewhat formal : to want to do something or to be something
• I wouldn't care [=like] to have to make that decision.
• I wouldn't care to be in your shoes right now.
• I'm going for a walk. Would you care to join me?
• He'll show the photos to anyone who cares to see them.
• More factors influenced her decision than she cares to admit.
as if I cared informal
- used in angry speech to say that you do not care at all about something
• “She says she doesn't want to talk to you.” “As if I cared!”
care a damn
- see 3damn
care for [phrasal verb]
1 care for (someone or something) : to do the things that are needed to help and protect (a person or animal) : to look after (someone or something)
• She cares for [=takes care of] elderly patients.
• Who is caring for your son while you are at work?
• I cared for his cat while he was away.
2 care for (someone) : to feel affection for (someone)
• He sent flowers to show that he cares for you.
• I got the feeling he never really cared for me.
3 care for (something) somewhat formal
a : to like or enjoy (something) - often used in negative statements
• I don't care for [=like] jelly beans.
• He doesn't care for sports.
• I don't care for your tone of voice.
b : to want (something)
• Would you care for some pie?
• I don't care for any more coffee.
could/couldn't care less informal
✦If you could care less (US) or couldn't care less, you are not at all concerned about or interested in something.
• I could care less what happens. [=I don't care what happens]
• He says he couldn't care less if he gets fired.
for all (someone) cares informal
- used to say that someone does not care at all about something
• For all I care, he can leave today. [=I don't care if he leaves today]
• She could quit the whole thing, for all he cares.
see if I care informal
- used in angry speech to say that you do not care at all about something
• Go ahead and call her. See if I care!
what does (someone) care? informal
- used to say that you do not think someone should have any interest in something
• “She said we should go.” “Well, what does she care?”
who cares? informal
- used to stress that something is not important.
• He can't carry a tune, but who cares? He's having fun and that's what matters.
• Who cares what she says? [=what she says is not important]