Main definitions of card in English

: card1card2



  • 1A piece of thick, stiff paper or thin pasteboard, in particular one used for writing or printing on.

    ‘some notes jotted down on a card’
    mass noun ‘a piece of card’
    • ‘For these sort of people, writing down their PINs on small pieces of paper or card appears to be the best solution.’
    • ‘The piece included a reply card, which generated one of the largest constituent responses of his political career in Missouri.’
    • ‘A pack of 10 cards are available from any parent or the teachers.’
    • ‘The whole thing just collapsed like a pack of cards and they had to put music on while TV screens across the country went blank.’
    • ‘Thin pieces of card were inserted under its feet to ensure that it stood perfectly level.’
    • ‘Finally I snag one and I'm given a card with some writing and told to stand and wait for the unit at the register.’
    • ‘Print your name - cut out letters from a piece of thick card.’
    • ‘Mike lifts up a square card made of thick, cream-colored paper.’
    • ‘Sometimes, you can press the pile down with a paint guard or a piece of stiff card, but if it seems likely to spring back and stick to the wet gloss, that is not a good look.’
    • ‘File cards and rhyming games develop reading skills, and plasticine is recommended for the study of shapes and colors.’
    • ‘I am seriously considering printing up some little cards to hand out before the start of those conversations with complete strangers you end up getting sucked into while out and about with a newborn.’
    • ‘The first thing to buy is a large sheet of white thick paper or thin card, which you gently bend into a right angled curve.’
    • ‘Every club has its own set of die-hards, always in club shirts, who gather behind one goal with the flags, flares, cards and toilet paper to cheer on their team.’
    • ‘Later in the evening as we walked into the main room and sat down, a paper card fell onto a candle and caught fire whilst everyone was pre-occupied with the raffle.’
    • ‘Count to 20 and then remove the pieces of card or paper.’
    • ‘The idea is for children to write times tables, maths problems or any words they get confused with or struggle to spell, on individual paper cards.’
    • ‘You won't get a good idea of the right fragrance unless you put each one on different cards or pieces of paper.’
    • ‘As for the prickly pear entrada that so enticed me on the menu card, it did pack quite a punch.’
    • ‘As I set up the board and various cards and pieces about the table, I start to explain the rules.’
    • ‘The Sun's image can then be seen on small piece of stiff card covered with some white paper.’
    cardboard, pasteboard, board, stiff paper
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A card printed with a picture and used to send a message or greeting.
      ‘a birthday card’
      • ‘With Christmas, New Year and Sankranti ahead, it's time to send them love, affection and warmth - all packed together in cute cards.’
      • ‘Our Christmas Cards depicting five local scenes are now on sale in the local shops costing £3 per pack of 10 cards.’
      • ‘Crafts will be on sale in the craft workshop including hand-woven and knitted goods and handmade cards, wrapping paper and badges.’
      • ‘No wrapping paper, no cards and no thought of how I'm going to get the presents to their rightful recipients, mind you.’
      • ‘She thanked people for the cards and messages sent to her mum following the robbery.’
      • ‘We also made sure we know her birthday so we can send her a birthday card and some flowers.’
      • ‘Or do I say nothing, and just send a card at Christmas?’
      • ‘Packs of 10 cards are priced at 4.99 euro and your support would be much appreciated for this very worthy appeal.’
      • ‘She also wished to pay tribute to all those who sent flowers, gifts, cards and goodwill messages.’
      • ‘But then I forked out another $12 on the card and wrapping paper.’
      • ‘Her daughter's tenth birthday had been last week and her adopted parents had sent Maura a card with a single picture inside.’
      • ‘He never said goodbye to me, he's never even sent me a birthday card or a Christmas present or even tried to call me!’
      • ‘When finally printed, cards are sent to American Greetings' distribution centers in Arkansas, Kentucky and Tennessee.’
      • ‘Can you imagine any other airline sending a birthday card to a customer?’
      • ‘I do have a valentine and I made him a homemade card using construction paper and sharpies and condoms.’
      • ‘He thanked everyone who made the day one to remember and for those who sent them cards and messages of good wishes.’
      • ‘Almost no companies and few individuals send cards with any religious message.’
      • ‘His friends and acquaintances sent him lots of cards and birthday wishes and all hope he will enjoy many more years.’
      • ‘Following hot on the heels of the tree and mistletoe, holly is an essential element of Christmas imagery, turning up on cards, wrapping paper and on top of the Christmas pud.’
      • ‘The tangible proof of that was seen in the hundreds of cards, greetings and messages of hope he received during his brief illness.’
      greetings card, postcard, christmas card, birthday card, good luck card, get well card, sympathy card
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 A card with a person's name and other details printed on it for purposes of identification, for example a business card.
      ‘a membership card entitled you to library services’
      ‘she dug into her bag and produced her card’
      • ‘Criminals will soon find a way of printing bogus ID cards.’
      • ‘There will new membership and VIP cards so existing holders will need to reapply.’
      • ‘Claiming that he was a recent convert, he displayed a certificate of his Buddhist affiliation and his ID card with the name Jing'an printed on it.’
      • ‘Upon return of the membership card, students will be refunded $20 of the initial deposit.’
      • ‘The bailiffs will carry an identification card and their details can be checked at the council's Parking Shop.’
      • ‘The card will hold details of the member's club, as well as handicap and will eventually become compulsory for entry to all competitions.’
      • ‘The card will have the name, gender, date of birth, identification type and identification number.’
      • ‘I have a piece on identity cards in Spain over at The White Rose.’
      • ‘In addition, Cabal and each member of the family, including the nanny, had an identity card in a false name from the Republic of Uruguay.’
      • ‘Students with identification cards or wearing uniforms will pay $10 per day or $5 per segment.’
      • ‘Of course, we all wish to find solutions to crime, terrorism and fraud, but an identity card will achieve nothing.’
      • ‘Your members card will entitle you to a range of special discounted prices, prizes and giveaways.’
      • ‘I gave the security man my name card showing I worked for a foreign embassy here but he did not give in.’
      • ‘The details on the card can then be cross-referenced against a national database before the holder can see a doctor or use other public services, such as schools or libraries.’
      • ‘The cards, which are blue and feature a picture of Old Main in the background, replace the old white ID cards.’
      • ‘They set up a checkpoint and forced civilians to line up to go in and out, each carrying an identification card printed in English only.’
      • ‘Mrs. Sawaki looked it over and handed Sarah her ID card and another piece of paper.’
      • ‘There was also a call for ‘true’ family membership with joint names on the membership card.’
      • ‘Then present your membership card for identification at the time of rental.’
      • ‘Yet the UEC, as proposed by David Blunkett, is an identity card in all but name.’
      identification, id, credentials, papers
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3 (in soccer and some other games) a yellow or red card shown by the referee to a player who is being cautioned or sent off.
      ‘the ref will have his cards at the ready to enforce the rule of law’
      • ‘Hopefully they will play a decent game, let it flow, only show cards when they have too and not go with a crowds reaction all the time.’
      • ‘As well as showing him the card, the Argentinian ref makes a rude hand gesture.’
      • ‘Pierluigi Collina takes a long look but leaves the card in his pocket.’
      • ‘Fortunately the card from sensible referee Phil Joslin was only yellow and Michael Tonge wasted the free-kick.’
      • ‘The referees far too often want to be the star of the show, flashing cards, making controversial decisions and generally wanting to be the centre of attention.’
      • ‘Not since the halcyon days of the Cincinnati Kid can a man have been quite so sharp with the cards as referee Roger Furnandiz.’
      • ‘The ref gives Cannavaro a ticking-off but keeps his cards in his pocket.’
      • ‘It was only as I pulled out the card and showed it to him that I realised that I had already booked him.’
      • ‘There's a few tasty challenges going in here, but the referee's kept his cards in his pocket so far.’
      • ‘I read another article today concerning Luis Figo being sent off and exploding at the referee after seeing the card.’
      • ‘It's been observed that Hugh Dallas hasn't shown any cards in this half, which is nice of him.’
      • ‘Actually, the "foul" was by Torrado, but Castro gets shown the card for kicking the ball away, it seems.’
      • ‘There's been one other card brandished in the last couple of minutes, but there appears to be confusion over who was on the receiving end.’
      • ‘City's Eyal Berkovic was sent-off and Shaun Goater booked in the mass protests that followed, and more were lucky they did not see a card as the Wirral-based referee frantically waved away spot kick appeals.’
  • 2A small rectangular piece of plastic containing personal data in a machine-readable form and used to obtain cash or credit or to pay for a telephone call, gain entry to a room or building, etc.

    ‘your card cannot be used to withdraw more than your daily limit from cash machines’
    ‘she paid for the goods with her card’
    • ‘She was told that a plastic device was fitted to the card slot of the AIB ATM machine in Wine Street Car Park in Sligo, which copied the details from her bank card.’
    • ‘It contained cash, cards and other personal items.’
    • ‘She also refuses to use credit or ATM cards, only paying cash.’
    • ‘Last September, following her request for a new card in her married name, Barclaycard reinstated this sum and is charging her interest on it.’
    • ‘However, if you use your card for a cash withdrawal you will be charged interest from day one.’
    • ‘Other areas where he was disappointed by the lack of relief included bin charge increases, rising utility and health charges and the stamp duty on credit and ATM cards.’
    • ‘Cash, cards or cheques are not needed to make purchases, so there is no need to carry them in a purse or wallet.’
    • ‘This would not stop me using internet banking though, as I feel I'm as much at risk using normal banking, with paper statements, cards being skimmed and so on.’
    • ‘A common practice among frequent shoppers is to split the bill between credit cards, or cards and cash, so as to disguise the gross amount from their partners.’
    • ‘Most card issuers will charge a fee if you withdraw cash on your card whilst abroad.’
    • ‘However, changes to the banking code shared the responsibility for safeguarding both the card and cash more evenly between bank and account holder.’
    • ‘Personal loans and plastic cards are another burden on our finances: this time, a hefty £161 billion.’
    • ‘Make sure you know what the credit balance on your card is.’
    • ‘Victims use cash machines unaware that at the same time the details on their card are being stolen.’
    • ‘However, if they do obtain a card, the credit limit will be low.’
    • ‘A potter or a carpenter in the remote village may soon be able to avail of bank credit through a plastic card.’
    • ‘Again, the ATM spat the card and the cash out together.’
    • ‘If you can't control your credit card spending, cut up your card and start paying cash.’
    • ‘The only identification found on the body was an ATM card bearing the name Willi Hochmeier.’
    • ‘In my case, I have a card with my name on it, but my wife is the primary account holder.’
    credit card, debit card, cash card, swipe card
    View synonyms
  • 3A playing card.

    ‘a pack of cards’
    • ‘He learned how to guess the quantity in his hand by their weight alone; how to memorise where in the pack certain cards were hidden and how to produce them on demand.’
    • ‘The chosen dealer deals three cards to each player, starting with the person on his left.’
    • ‘To be totally fair, I'm going to shuffle a pack of cards.’
    • ‘This is the same game as Three Card Brag, except that four cards are dealt to each player.’
    • ‘Games are another excellent pastime, a deck of cards or a board game might be some fun.’
    • ‘He often sat there with his old deck of cards playing solitaire, remembering other bars and card games.’
    • ‘From a deck of cards, pick out the ace through six of one suit.’
    • ‘When he went looking through the offered board games he found not only a deck of cards but also a cribbage board.’
    • ‘He walked up to the first table and produced a pack of cards.’
    • ‘To begin with, the dealer deals out four cards to each player which may be looked at.’
    • ‘We oohed when he chose the right card from the pack.’
    • ‘In case of each player winning the same number of pairs, all the cards in all five pairs go out of the game.’
    • ‘In America it is known as old sledge or seven up and usually played by two players with the full pack of 52 cards, with the ace being the highest and the two the lowest.’
    • ‘He mentioned that he tried to buy a deck of cards at the mall and he couldn't find anything for less than $2.’
    • ‘A meld can be started with three or more cards and built up to a canasta by adding cards on later turns.’
    • ‘It is a pre-piecepack attempt to do for board games what the standard deck of cards does for card games.’
    • ‘At the start of the game there are no cards in the pile and its value is zero.’
    • ‘Rain breaks, stoppages or spare time invariably involved a pack of cards and a cry of: ‘Anyone for bridge?’’
    • ‘We'd deal a hand each, put the rest of the deck between us, turn the top card on the deck face up, and begin.’
    • ‘I had learned from many of these trips to bring homework, books, a deck of cards, to amuse myself, sometimes for three days.’
    playing card
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1cards A game played with playing cards.
      ‘they were playing interminable cards’
      • ‘In their spare time, the girls have played cards, games, table tennis and watched TV.’
      • ‘We did what we do in Minnesota, which is sit around a card table and play cards and drink wine.’
      • ‘Lots of food, swimming and lake activities, cards and board games, generally a good time.’
      • ‘He is the game's most fierce competitor, but his ability to relax, have a beer and play cards when the game is over is just as important.’
      • ‘As well as an indoor swimming pool and a gym, there were also a karaoke bar, rooms for playing pool, cards, mah-jong and a reading room and library.’
      • ‘Pat also enjoyed his game of cards and always supported card games for charity.’
      • ‘The pair hadn't returned until well after dinner and as far as Althia knew, had ended the evening in a game of cards which Gryphon also participated in.’
      • ‘All of which can start to feel a bit alienating if you're a non-player and your most sophisticated game of cards to date is Twenty-One.’
      • ‘Cure a bad case of cabin fever by inviting friends over for an evening of cards or old-fashioned board games.’
      • ‘As we grew older we played cards - five hundred, patience and crib.’
      • ‘He never smoked or drank, but he loved a game of cards, and was always welcome no matter where he went.’
      • ‘His interests included sporting events, a game of cards, and a chat with the locals in the evenings.’
      • ‘He loved his game of cards and supported card games for charitable purposes.’
      • ‘On the opposite side is a welcoming taverna with a shaded outdoor terrace, at which men sit passing time over a coffee or game of cards or backgammon.’
      • ‘Later on, as the crowds of business people thin, kite flyers appear, and groups of friends come to sit and drink tea whilst enjoying a game of chess or cards.’
      • ‘There was the Bismark Skat Club to play cards, the brass band and hunt club to name just a few.’
      • ‘Jude tried to get ol’ Davy to stay around a while for a game of cards or a drink, but Davy refused.’
      • ‘Thirty-eight mostly middle-aged people are slouching around with beers and coffee, watching Italian football on a large screen or playing Neapolitan cards.’
      • ‘Besides soccer, many people like to play cards or a board game called bao.’
      • ‘The dining hall becomes the entertainment center, where the night owls get together to play cards and board games and to pop corn in the oversized cooker.’
  • 4Computing

    short for expansion card
    • ‘Most computer audio cards have great sound, so what really matters are your PC's speakers.’
    • ‘It is possible to get this motherboard without the Wi-Fi card, but the slot is not optional.’
    • ‘But you can expect to see PCI Express add-in cards in stores later this summer and this fall.’
    • ‘It has slots for memory expansion, digital/multimedia cards and a 400 MHz processor.’
    • ‘Plug in your cable modem and hook up the home with PCI / PCMCIA bridges and use the PCMCIA wireless cards in all your desktop and laptop computers.’
  • 5cardsBritish informal Documents relating to an employee, especially for tax and national insurance, held by the employer.

  • 6A programme of events at a race meeting.

    ‘a nine-race card’
    • ‘Live racing is scheduled to resume Sunday for the final card of the 2002 Delaware Park meeting, should weather permit.’
    • ‘The cancellation of Turfway's program was the sixth loss of a full card at the track in December.’
    • ‘Run over 12 furlongs it is the longest race on the card and is worth 1 million.’
    • ‘Hastings Park Racecourse has dropped five Wednesday cards from its calendar.’
    • ‘Beulah Park halted its nine-race card after the fifth race due to slippery track conditions.’
    • ‘From seven rides on the nine-race card, Walker's best performance was a minor placing in the second race.’
    • ‘The remaining nine races on the card were expected to go off as scheduled.’
    • ‘Bag Woman won the first race on the card, a claiming event in which she carried a $13,500 tag, to sew up the record.’
    • ‘Finger Lakes racetrack canceled its card on Monday after three races due to wet track conditions.’
    • ‘The Sydney Turf Club had planned a seven-race card at Canterbury Park Racecourse with the Starlight Stakes the feature race.’
    • ‘Although the race, the last on the card, was a fairly ordinary event, it had great significance for Oliver, who was warmly greeted by racegoers.’
    • ‘Nine races were scheduled to be run on a card that was held three days after apprentice jockey Emanuel Jose Sanchez died.’
    • ‘High water conditions brought on by heavy rains forced Delaware Park officials to cancel a scheduled nine-race card on Monday.’
    • ‘The 42-year-old Bone won half the races on an eight-race card with the help of three jockeys and two trainers.’
    • ‘Two races on the card are scheduled to be part of a Peruvian All-Star Competition.’
    • ‘Delaware Park was forced to cancel its racing card following the sixth race on Sunday after a bomb threat was called in to the Stanton, Delaware, track.’
    • ‘In the second race on the card, A.J. Melini rallied in the stretch to give Castro his first win on the nine-race card.’
    • ‘The purse cut kicked in Thursday; the eight Thoroughbred races on the card are worth $35,220.’
    • ‘The card was planned as a celebration of Oregon racing, with nearly $100,000 in purses up for grabs.’
    • ‘The Meadowlands cancelled the last five races on its nine-race card due to deteriorating track conditions brought on by heavy rains.’
    1. 6.1 A record of scores in a sporting event; a scorecard.
      • ‘Late arriving players must have their name added to the score card upon arrival.’
      • ‘He called the items "score cards" with the players names preprinted on the card.’
      • ‘Both the Hall of Fame and the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues sent along Vic's player record card.’
  • 7dated, informal A person regarded as odd or amusing.

    ‘He laughed: ‘You're a card, you know’’
    • ‘"You're a card, Mr. Spangler," said Mr. Wilkinson.’
    • ‘She thinks he's a card, and likes him.’
    • ‘He's a card, you got that in common.’


[with object]
  • 1Write (something) on a card, especially for indexing.

    • ‘As a result, I have 4 plastic shoeboxes where I keep all my carded recipes.’
    • ‘The carded information was then verified by a separate review.’
    • ‘There is also a ten-inch file of carded notes and interviews on the Bonneville Administration, 1944-1954.’
    1. 1.1informal (in golf and other sports) score (a certain number of points on a scorecard)
      ‘he carded 68 in the final round’
      • ‘After a career low 63 with six birdies from his first round, the 30-year-old dropped only one shot and carded five birdies on his way to his final round 66.’
      • ‘Back in action after knee surgery, Van de Velde admits he is playing to save his career and he carded an encouraging third successive 69.’
      • ‘The low individual girls' score of 85 was carded by Sara Stebeleski of Lorette.’
      • ‘John O'Meara carded three nines of 26 and one of 25 in a consistent outing.’
      • ‘On Friday he had carded a course-record, seven-under-par 64 and talked so much about it he exhausted not only his larynx but his vocabulary.’
      • ‘Ipgc chairman Stephen Beard also put together a fine round of golf, carding a 4 under par 68.’
      • ‘Gary Coutts and John Bornholt carded the best scores for the visitors.’
      • ‘For at the seventh hole he carded a seven - a score that cost him three shots and all hopes of a top 10 finish.’
      • ‘An even worse result was carded by Jamaluddin, who only managed to finish fifth in the men's lightweight singles sculls event, recording a time of 7: 27.80.’
      • ‘Seven over after 12 holes, he birdied the 15th and parred the last three to card a six-over 76, seven off the lead.’
      • ‘Hanell carded a closing 71 at Santo da Serra for a four-under total of 284, claiming his first European Tour title and the winner's cheque for £67,153.’
      • ‘But the eagle on 18, along with nine birdies, more than made up for the two miscues as he carded nines of 32-29.’
      • ‘Moving to Jaguar last year, he accounted for 17 of the 18 points carded by the Big Cat.’
      • ‘In one eight-hole stretch, Singh carded eight threes.’
      • ‘Pre-championship favourite Tiger Woods, who carded a one-under 71 on Thursday, was still to go out, along with Ernie Els who was level.’
      • ‘He carded a four-round total of 280, with Bob Charles - who finished two shots off the pace - having to settle this time round for the runner-up position.’
      • ‘Anderson, 20, carded rounds of 86 and 82 at The Belfry's famous PGA course to finish five shots clear of his nearest rival in the 29-strong field.’
      • ‘He carded eight birdies and an eagle in a 10-under par 61 before lightning forced the players to leave the course for the second day running.’
      • ‘Lee Westwood said that he felt like he had spent five hours in a sauna with his clothes on, but still enjoyed carding a first round 66.’
      • ‘In the season opener two weeks ago, the team carded a 645, the best score by a Macalester golf team in at least five years.’
    2. 1.2 (of the referee in soccer and some other games) show a yellow or red card to (a player who is being cautioned or sent off)
      ‘Reid, seconds after being carded, broke down the left wing’
      ‘a Mac flanker was carded and sent to the sin bin in the first half’
      • ‘The Chelsea skipper was in no doubt that his team-mate should not have been carded.’
      • ‘"He's a combative player who tackles a lot and works hard so it was quite an achievement to go through a season without being carded."’
      • ‘Anyway, Durand also deserved to see yellow for the Oscar-level theatrics that followed, evidence of the determination to get opponents carded that is creeping into the professional game.’
      • ‘The first-half descended into a scrappy affair with bookings for Cork's Alan Carey and Derry's Paddy McLaughlin for misjudged tackles while Darren Kelly was carded by referee Dick O'Hanlon for throwing the ball away after Cork were awarded a throw-in.’
      • ‘The pressure continued and Beverley were very lucky not to see a player carded for a dangerous spear tackle.’
      • ‘He recalls a similar fate befalling Tim Flowers, who was carded for abusing a referee or assistant referee while warming the bench for Blackburn.’
      • ‘Clearly rattled, Liverpool had three players spoken to by the referee but none carded.’
      • ‘Livingston's pressure told on Motherwell, with Stephen Hammell and Jim Hamilton carded in quick succession.’
      • ‘Williams went close but Wales failed to capitalise on the brief numerical superiority before Chris Horsman was also carded, this time for a punch.’
      • ‘Smith did not take it well and promptly returned the favour, carding Gazza to a volley of jeers from the capacity crowd, Hibs fans included.’
      • ‘Bursts by Ian Davies, Matt Halifax and Ed Bennison were almost productive and a score seemed inevitable when Davies was carded for a late tackle and Crossleyans used the wind to revisit the York half.’
      • ‘The ref was warning them for most of the game but ended up, with English players pressurising him, carding our guys!’
      • ‘The Frenchman was booked for raising a fist to Keith O'Halloran, who was also carded for his initial foul.’
      • ‘Seconds later David Albelda gets carded for a foul on Deco.’
      • ‘John-Baptiste was booked for hauling down Chillingworth and Neil was carded for a very late challenge on Walker as the U's skipper skipped past him.’
  • 2North American Check the identity card of (someone), in particular as evidence of legal drinking age.

    ‘we were carded at the entrance to the club’
    • ‘The bartender came up to me, didn't even card me, and asked what I'd like.’
    • ‘We were carded and banded by a couple of menacing, ghetto looking bouncers.’
    • ‘There's security people all over the place, they card you for every little thing, and nobody gets out or in!’
    • ‘Yesterday a twelve-year-old sales clerk carded me when I purchased a bottle of non-alcoholic Merlot.’
    • ‘But they didn't card me, so I was able to get us both Heinekens.’
    • ‘It was something the bartender or distributor wouldn't card me for.’
    • ‘Half the bars in New York City don't even card you, so things like this were never a problem.’
    • ‘There's certainly no reason to card anyone for the dubious privilege of seeing it.’
    • ‘This, along with Mother Nature's gravitational pull, tends to stand me in good stead when I'm carded for ID by New York bar Nazis.’
    • ‘When the final hunters are seated and carded and have their drinks, I check to see that the meat is neatly and attractively presented.’
    • ‘Lately, theaters have been taking the ‘R’ rating far more seriously than they used to - actually carding young patrons to check if they are of age to see the movie without a guardian.’
    • ‘‘I should have carded him,’ he answered laughing as he handed over the Long Island ice tea.’
    • ‘Two years ago at an Oakland A's game, he was carded, and he still can't grow a mustache.’
    • ‘Now, in middle age, when being carded is just a dim memory and I'm legal for all legal vices, I've started stashing things in my room.’
    • ‘In fact, the last time you pulled out your driver's license was to show a friend how silly you looked ‘way back then,’ or when you were carded at some hot spot.’
    • ‘I went in, and I didn't even think about the fact that they might card me or whatever.’
  • 3be cardedCanadian (of an amateur athlete) be in receipt of government funding to pursue training.

    ‘in 1986–7 all carded athletes received a basic $450 monthly allowance’
    • ‘Athletes carded under Sport Canada's AAP may withdraw from the AAP or have their carded status withdrawn.’
    • ‘Robin Leslie and Erin Morton are two members of the team who have continued with much success and have been carded for the national field hockey team.’
    • ‘Athletes who have been carded for a minimum of three years may receive some readjustment support through a special-needs application.’


  • a card up one's sleeve

    • A plan or asset that is kept secret until it is needed.

      ‘the alliances have been the key card up our sleeve’
      • ‘We who are truly in-the-know have a card up our sleeve that, once revealed, will completely and utterly wipe them and their kind from the face of the Earth!’
      • ‘The same company that manufacturers some of the highest performing desktop harddisks, IBM, has a card up their sleeve for the notebook market.’
      • ‘Fortunately we had a card up our sleeve, a guest player by the name of Garfield Sobers and, within half an hour, he had shared eight wickets with [Fred] Trueman.’
      • ‘One young man cried, ‘There was a card up your sleeve!’’
      • ‘But if Aurora had the leverage of his vows, he still had a card up his sleeve.’
  • get one's cards

    • informal Be dismissed from one's employment.

      ‘he got his cards on his 50th birthday’
      • ‘Most managers get their cards, sooner or later.’
      • ‘On the shop floor it more or less meant the proles getting their cards and hapless, toadying management promoted beyond their competence.’
      • ‘He was shocked and devastated when he got his cards after more than three decades of service.’
      • ‘This came under Joe Royle in the 1995/96 campaign but was not enough to prevent the Everton playing great getting his cards shortly afterwards.’
      • ‘We will all be thinking of him, although I don't know when he will be getting his cards.’
  • give someone their cards

    • informal Dismiss someone from employment.

      ‘the firm has just given 74,000 workers their cards’
      • ‘He gave me my cards and told me that he never wanted to see me again.’
      • ‘On 12 July, the day after the clear-up was called to a halt, Bovis gave him his cards.’
      • ‘Cotterill had been out of full- time work himself since Sunderland - where he was Howard Wilkinson's assistant - gave him his cards in February 2003.’
      dismiss, give someone their notice, throw out, get rid of, lay off, make redundant, let someone go, discharge, cashier
      View synonyms
  • hold all the cards

    • Be in a very strong or advantageous position.

      ‘he held all the cards and made all the decisions’
      • ‘The problem with fighting against globalisation is that the enemy holds all the cards.’
      • ‘But from a procedural point of view, the Commission holds all the cards.’
      • ‘It appears that the highways authority holds all the cards.’
      • ‘There's a guy funding a film by a friend of mine, and he's decided that he holds all the cards, since he put up the million-and-a-half budget, so he wants to re-cut the movie.’
      • ‘But in fact, the parent with whom the child lives - and that is usually the mother - holds all the cards.’
      • ‘On the other hand, terrorists do not hold all the cards.’
      • ‘Things have gotten so bad, that a liar and plagiarist holds all the cards; he can keep his stature, pay, and influence, or he can get a seven figure check.’
      • ‘In the meantime, the unregulated broker holds all the cards.’
      • ‘In the alcohol industry, the distributors hold all the cards.’
      • ‘But union membership is on the decline and it appears management still holds all the cards right now.’
      • ‘So they say they're not prepared for this case and that the prosecution holds all the cards, so their first move, their first motion today will be to ask for an adjournment.’
  • on the cards

    • Possible or likely.

      ‘marriage has been on the cards from day one’
      • ‘The possibility of operating a satellite centre in Padiham is also on the cards.’
      • ‘Visits to various locations, probably all in the North Island, are on the cards.’
      • ‘The possibility of a celebrity guest is not the only change on the cards for this year's festival.’
      • ‘A drive-through Pizza Hut and an expanded Asda store are on the cards for Colchester.’
      • ‘And if a sale is in the cards, there's likely a willing buyer: Softbank Corp.’
      • ‘But a Novell-Red Hat merger is probably not in the cards.’
      • ‘She said she suspected something was on the cards, but didn't expect to see a proposal in print.’
      • ‘New jobs and convenient shopping are on the cards following a major store revamp.’
      • ‘Some investors and analysts speculate that pushing Sears to sell the valuable real estate under its stores may be in the cards.’
      • ‘Winning back the House (much less the Senate) next year probably isn't in the cards.’
      likely, possible, probable, expected, liable to happen, in the wind, in the air, in the offing, on the horizon, in view, in prospect, in store, to come
      View synonyms
  • play (or use) the — card

    • Exploit the specified issue or idea mentioned, especially for political advantage.

      ‘he resisted the temptation to play the race card’
      ‘the government tried to play the nationalist card’
      • ‘It is not yet time to play the sanctions card.’
      • ‘When she tried to play the victim card the response across America was ‘Oh, come on.’’
      • ‘And this is why those who have most benefited from playing the human rights card are those who already are assertive, intelligent, articulate and organised.’
      • ‘‘They need to play the psyops card to combat the obvious military superiority that we've demonstrated to date,’ said a retired US army major who specialised in psychological operations.’
      • ‘In the face of growing concern about sluggish job growth and outsourcing to Asia, tech executives have settled on a far more potent strategy: They're playing the jobs card.’
      • ‘He angrily denied that he was playing the race card.’
      • ‘These groups play the race card under the guise of concerns about immigration.’
      • ‘In the local debate that's ensued, Henraux plays the jobs card, threatening to lay off 20 workers if it can't level the mountaintop.’
      • ‘He'll probably play the human-rights card, but he should be careful.’
      • ‘Many politicians have played the religious-national identity card to gain popular support.’
  • play one's cards right

    • Make the best use of one's assets and opportunities.

      ‘you have a chance of success if you play your cards right’
      • ‘If you play your cards right, you too can join me in listening to this fine piece of electronica.’
      • ‘He said it was a good job and, if I played my cards right, I'd have it for life.’
      • ‘Here's my latest example of how peer-to-peer file sharing could really help music companies if they played their cards right, which they almost never do.’
      • ‘If he plays his cards right - a big if - he could peel off just enough Cuban voters to carry Florida on November 2.’
      • ‘They played their cards right and now expect to either get the presidency or bring some Arab areas under their control.’
      • ‘If she plays her cards right, she could have a great future as an actress ahead of her.’
      • ‘That's the kind of opportunity people kill for, and if you play your cards right, we can grab it!’
      • ‘If Fox plays their cards right, they could have a cult show on the level of Seinfeld on their hands.’
      • ‘At one stage we could boast about being able to use three different currencies, and if you played your cards right, you could use it to your advantage.’
      • ‘If he plays his cards right, he could upset all predictions.’
  • put (or lay) one's cards on the table

    • Be completely open and honest in declaring one's resources, intentions, or attitude.

      ‘I would have a confrontation with him and put my cards on the table’
      • ‘‘We have put our cards on the table from the start,’ he said.’
      • ‘And to your question about how much should we put our cards on the table and be honest about our biases, I think that's a good thing to do.’
      • ‘Texting forces you to put your cards on the table - but then teenagers do, don't they?’
      • ‘It is not an issue for me because I have always put my cards on the table and said we should not kill for sport.’
      • ‘The newspapers are full of opinion columns in which people put their cards on the table and urge their readers to vote one way or another, so I thought I'd join them.’
      • ‘I'm putting my cards on the table because it's important we have a vote of confidence.’
      • ‘You have to lay your cards on the table, be honest about what your priorities are in life and where your weaknesses lie.’
      • ‘I'm going to put my cards on the table - I'm a teetotaller.’
      • ‘Settle the score, put the cards on the table, lay down the law.’
      • ‘Look, I'd much rather put my cards on the table and let people know where I stand in a clear editorial, than insidiously imply it in what's supposed to be a straight news story.’


Late Middle English (in sense 3 of the noun): from Old French carte, from Latin carta, charta, from Greek khartēs ‘papyrus leaf’.




Main definitions of card in English

: card1card2



[with object]
  • Comb and clean (raw wool, hemp fibres, or similar material) with a sharp-toothed instrument in order to disentangle the fibres before spinning.

    ‘the wool from the sheep was carded and spun’
    • ‘One may light with a wick made from it after it has been carded.’
    • ‘A buff is made from a non-woven fabric where the fibers are first carded and formed into a fairly thick fleece.’
    • ‘Spinning wheels lined the walls and at the central tables others sorted, hackled and carded the wool.’
    • ‘Moreover, he noted that working in ghettos where underventilated, crowded conditions prevailed was a special risk factor in workers repairing old mattresses and/or carding used wool.’
    • ‘She was wearing a sweater she'd been forced to knit from the wool they'd carded from the flocks.’
    • ‘The best plan is undoubtedly to dye the fibre after it has been carded.’
    • ‘Skirt the fleece, scour the wool, wash the wool, card it, thread the spool, spin it to thread, slide it off the bobbin, roll it into balls of yarn.’
    • ‘It was then carded and arranged neatly in bundles, which the thatcher took with him onto the roof.’


  • A toothed implement or machine for carding wool.

    • ‘When carding the teased wool, a card is held in each hand.’
    • ‘Begin by placing a small piece of wool on the left card that should be lying on your lap.’
    • ‘Distribute the wool evenly across the entire card until the teeth are barely showing through.’


Late Middle English: from Old French carde, from Provençal carda, from cardar ‘tease, comb’, based on Latin carere ‘to card’.