Topic: TOOLS

Date: 1400-1500
Language: French
Origin: carte, from Old Italian carta 'sheet of paper', from Latin charta; CHART1


1 noun
card1 S1 W2


D [countable] a small piece of plastic or paper containing information about a person or showing, for example, that they belong to a particular organization, club etc:
Employees must show their identity cards at the gate.
I haven't got my membership card yet.


BFB [countable] a small piece of plastic, especially one that you get from a bank or shop, which you use to pay for goods or to get money:
Lost or stolen cards must be reported immediately.
a £10 phone card
Every time you use your store card, you get air miles.
charge card, cheque card, credit card, debit card


D [countable] a piece of folded thick stiff paper with a picture on the front, that you send to people on special occasions


DL [countable] a card with a photograph or picture on one side, that you send to someone when you are on holiday [= postcard]:
I sent you a card from Madrid.

stiff paper

[uncountable] British EnglishD thick stiff paper [↪ cardboard]:
Cut a piece of white card 12 × 10cm.

for writing information

[countable] a small piece of thick stiff paper that information can be written or printed on:
a set of recipe cards
a score card


a) a small piece of thick stiff paper with numbers and signs or pictures one side. There are 52 cards in a set [= playing card]
pack/deck of cards (=a complete set of cards)
b) game in which these cards are used:
I'm no good at cards.
We were having a game of cards.
a book of card games
c) a small piece of thick stiff paper with numbers or pictures on them, used to play a particular game:
a set of cards for playing Snap

football/baseball etc card

a small piece of thick stiff paper with a picture on one side, that is part of a set which people collect


[countable]BBD a small piece of thick stiff paper that shows your name, job, and the company you work for; [= business card; ↪ visiting card]:
My name's Adam Carver. Here's my card.


[countable]TD the thing inside a computer that the chips are attached to, that allows the computer to do specific things:
a graphics card

be on the cards

British English, be in the cards American English to seem likely to happen:
At 3-1 down, another defeat seemed to be on the cards.

play your cards right

to deal with a situation in the right way, so that you are successful in getting what you want:
If he plays his cards right, Tony might get a promotion.

put/lay your cards on the table

to tell people what your plans and intentions are in a clear, honest way:
What I'd like us to do is put our cards on the table and discuss the situation in a rational manner.

play/keep your cards close to your chest

to keep your plans, thoughts, or feelings secret

get/be given your cards

British English informal to have your job taken away from you

have another card up your sleeve

to have another advantage that you can use to be successful in a particular situation

trump/best/strongest card

something that gives you a big advantage in a particular situation:
The promise of tax cuts proved, as always, to be the Republican Party's trump card.

somebody's card is marked

British English if someone's card is marked, they have done something that makes people in authority disapprove of them


[countable] old-fashioned informal an amusing or unusual person:
Fred's a real card, isn't he!


[countable]DSH a small piece of stiff red or yellow paper, shown to a player who has done something wrong in a game such as football

list at sports event

[countable] a list of races or matches at a sports event, especially a horse race:
a full card of 120 riders for the Veterans race


[countable] a small piece of thick stiff paper with a special picture on one side, that is put down in a pattern in order to tell someone what will happen in their future


[countable]TIM technical a tool that is similar to a comb and is used for combing, cleaning, and preparing wool or cotton for spinning

➔ hold all the cards

at hold1 (30)

➔ play the race/nationalist/environmentalist etc card

at play1 (14)

➔ stack the cards

at stack2 (4)

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