/ keɪs; NAmE / noun , verb
[ C ] a particular situation or a situation of a particular type :
In some cases people have had to wait several weeks for an appointment.
The company only dismisses its employees in cases of gross misconduct.
It's a classic case (= a very typical case) of bad planning.
—see also worst-case ➡ note at example , situation
the case [ sing. ] case (that ... ) the true situation :
If that is the case (= if the situation described is true) , we need more staff.
It is simply not the case that prison conditions are improving.
[ C , usually sing. ] a situation that relates to a particular person or thing :
In your case, we are prepared to be lenient.
I cannot make an exception in your case (= for you and not for others) .
➡ note at example
[ C ] a matter that is being officially investigated, especially by the police :
a murder case
a case of theft
[ C ] a question to be decided in court :
The case will be heard next week.
a court case
to win / lose a case
—see also test case
[ C , usually sing. ] case (for / against sth) a set of facts or arguments that support one side in a trial, a discussion, etc. :
the case for the defence / prosecution
Our lawyer didn't think we had a case (= had enough good arguments to win in a court of law) .
the case for / against private education
The report makes out a strong case (= gives good arguments) for spending more money on hospitals.
You will each be given the chance to state your case .
[ C ] (often in compounds) a container or covering used to protect or store things; a container with its contents or the amount that it contains :
a pencil case
a jewellery case
a packing case (= a large wooden box for packing things in)
The museum was full of stuffed animals in glass cases.
a case (= 12 bottles) of champagne
—picture at grandfather clock
—see also vanity case
[ C ] = suitcase :
Let me carry your case for you.
[ C ] the fact of sb having a disease or an injury; a person suffering from a disease or an injury :
a severe case of typhoid
The most serious cases were treated at the scene of the accident.
[ C ] a person who needs, or is thought to need, special treatment or attention :
He's a hopeless case.
[ C , U ] the form of a noun, an adjective or a pronoun in some languages, that shows its relationship to another word :
the nominative / accusative / genitive case
Latin nouns have case, number and gender.
- as the case may be
- be on sb's case
- be on the case
- get off my case
- a case in point
- in any case
- (just) in case ( ... )
- in case of sth
- in that case
—more at rest verb
[ vn ]
- case the joint
noun senses 1 to 6 and noun senses 9 to 11 Middle English : from Old French cas , from Latin casus fall, related to cadere to fall; in sense 11 directly from Latin , translating Greek ptōsis , literally fall.
noun senses 7 to 8 and verb late Middle English : from Old French casse , chasse (modern caisse trunk, chest, châsse reliquary, frame), from Latin capsa , related to capere to hold.