- be careful
- used as part of a greeting, a way of telling someone to stay safe
- to assume responsibility for something
- to do what needs to be done in a situation
- it is used as a euphemism (an indirect way of saying something) for murdering someone - usually used in movies
- Thanks for the visit, Peter, take care.
- Take care not to cut yourself on that rusty piece of metal.
- Drive slowly. Take care not to slip on the icy roads.
- When my parents go out of town I take care of their house.
- Don't worry about the snacks for the party. I will take care of it.
- I understand that he stole all of our money. Don't worry, I will take care of him.
- A new coat of paint should take care of that scratch in the paintwork of your car.
The word care has been in used since around 900. It is an Old Middle English word. The word care means to feel concern or interest. Thus, if you tell someone to "take care" you are asking them to feel a sense of concern or interest about something.
The phrase "take care" meaning: to take in hand has been used since the 1580s.