General English



  • verb to cause somebody to feel worried


  • noun the fact of being worried about a problem
  • verb to deal with or be connected with


  • verb to be connected with or to affect somebody or something

Origin & History of “concern”

In earliest use, English concern meant ‘distinguish, discern’. this was a reflection of its ultimate source, Latin cernere ‘sift, separate’. In combination with the prefix com- ‘together’ it produced concernere, which in classical times meant specifically ‘mix together preparatory to sifting’. Later, however, the prefix seems to have taken on a more intensive role, with concernere reverting to the same range of senses as cernere. By the middle Ages these not only included ‘discern, perceive’ and ‘decide’ (whence English certain, from the past participle of cernere), but had widened considerably to ‘relate to’ – a meaning which emerged in English concern in the 16th century. Connotations of distress or worry began to develop in the late 17th century.