Short for in the care of or similar phrase.
- (mail) For distribution by (the named intermediary).
- Could you please send this package to Mr. John Smith, care of the Northwest Shelter?
Care of, usually abbreviated as ℅ on envelopes, signifies an intermediary who is responsible for transferring a piece of mail between the postal system and the final recipient. For example, when the final recipient (person or business A) has no address itself, the mail sender may want an intermediary (person or business B) who has an address to manually forward the mail to the final recipient. An example:
Person or business A
℅ Person or business B
Address of B