Also found in: Thesaurus, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
1. A flat, usually rectangular piece of stiff paper, cardboard, or plastic, especially:
a. One of a set or pack bearing significant numbers, symbols, or figures, used in games and in divination.
b. A greeting card.
c. A postcard.
d. One bearing a person's name and other information, used for purposes of identification or classification.
e. One bearing the image and often the statistics of a sports figure.
f. A business card.
g. A credit card.
h. A magnetic card.
i. One used for recording information in a file: an index card; a recipe card.
2. cards(used with a sing. or pl. verb) Games
a. A game played with cards.
b. The playing of games with cards.
3. A program, especially for a sports event.
a. A menu, as in a restaurant.
b. A wine list.
a. A printed circuit board that plugs into a slot on a computer's motherboard or into a port on the outside of a device, and performs a particular function, such as data storage or converting and processing signals for communication with other devices.
b. A punch card.
6. A compass card.
7. Informal An eccentrically amusing person.
a. Something, such as an advantageous circumstance or tactical maneuver, that can be used to help gain an objective. Often used with play: "[He believed that] Soviet Russia ... had far more Iranian cards to play than the United States" (Theodore Draper).
b. An appeal to a specified issue or argument, usually one involving strong emotions. Often used with play: "His exposure as a racist ... allowed the defense to play the race card" (New York Times).
tr.v. card·ed, card·ing, cardsPhrasal Verbs:
1. To furnish with or attach to a card.
2. To list (something) on a card; catalog.
3. To check the identification of, especially in order to verify legal age.
4. Sports To warn or eject (a soccer player who has committed a flagrant foul) by showing a yellow card or a red card.
To sign in, as at a place of business, by use of a magnetic card.
To sign out, as from a place of business, by use of a magnetic card.
card up (one's) sleeve
A secret resource or plan held in reserve: a tough negotiator who had a number of cards up his sleeve.
in the cards
Likely or certain to happen: My promotion to a higher position just isn't in the cards.
put/lay (one's) cards on the table
To make frank and clear revelation, as of one's motives or intentions.
[Middle English carde, from Old French carte, from Latin charta, paper made from papyrus, from Greek khartēs.]
1. A wire-toothed brush or a machine fitted with rows of wire teeth, used to straighten and separate fibers, as of wool, prior to spinning.
2. A device used to raise the nap on a fabric.
tr.v. card·ed, card·ing, cards
To comb out or brush with a card.
[Middle English carde, from Medieval Latin cardus, from Latin carduus, thistle.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.