The term “concern” comes from the Latin word “concernere,” which means “to sift together” or “to mix together.” This is derived from the Latin roots “con-” meaning “together” and “cernere,” meaning “to sift” or “to separate.”

1. Proto-Indo-European (PIE)

The PIE root “*krei-” means “to sieve” or “to discriminate.”

2. Latin

From the PIE root, the Latin word “cernere” developed, meaning “to sift” or “to separate.” The verb “concernere” combines “con-” (together) and “cernere” (to sift), meaning “to sift together” or “to mix together.”

3. Old French (c. 9th to 14th century CE)

The Latin term “concernere” evolved into Old French “concerner,” meaning “to relate to” or “to affect.”

4. Middle English (c. 11th to 15th century CE)

The Old French “concerner” was adopted into Middle English as “concerne,” meaning “to relate to” or “to affect.”

5. Modern English (from 15th century CE to present)

The term “concern” evolved into its current form and pronunciation, retaining the meanings of “to relate to” or “to affect” and expanding to include “worry” or “interest.”

Phonetic Evolution

Over time, the pronunciation of “concern” has remained relatively stable from Old French to Modern English.

Usage Examples

  • “Concern is often used to describe a feeling of worry or interest in someone or something.”
  • “Another example of ‘concern’ in a sentence is ‘The health and safety of our employees is our primary concern.'”

Cultural or Historical Notes

The development of the word “concern” was significantly influenced by its use in describing relationships and effects, as well as feelings of worry or interest. The term has been central to discussions of personal responsibility, care, and interest in various contexts.

The word “concern” reflects the concept of relating to or being affected by something, emphasizing the importance of worry, interest, and care in human interactions and responsibilities. It underscores the role of empathy, attention, and responsibility in addressing issues and caring for others.