1. n.1 an instance of something occurring.
2 a state of affairs, hypothetical or actual.
3 a an instance of a person receiving professional guidance, e.g. from a doctor or social worker. b this person or the circumstances involved.
4 a matter under official investigation, esp. by the police.
5 Law a a cause or suit for trial. b a statement of the facts in a cause sub judice, drawn up for a higher court's consideration (judge states a case). c a cause that has been decided and may be cited (leading case).
6 a the sum of the arguments on one side, esp. in a lawsuit (that is our case). b a set of arguments, esp. in relation to persuasiveness (have a good case; have a weak case). c a valid set of arguments (have no case).
7 Gram. a the relation of a word to other words in a sentence. b a form of a noun, adjective, or pronoun expressing this.
8 colloq. a comical person.
9 the position or circumstances in which one is.
Phrases and idioms:
as the case may be according to the situation. case history information about a person for use in professional treatment, e.g. by a doctor. case-law the law as established by the outcome of former cases (cf. common law, statute law). case-load the cases with which a doctor etc. is concerned at one time. case-study
1. an attempt to understand a person, institution, etc., from collected information.
2 a record of such an attempt.
3 the use of a particular instance as an exemplar of general principles. in any case whatever the truth is; whatever may happen.
1. in the event that; if.
2 lest; in provision against a stated or implied possibility (take an umbrella in case it rains; took it in case). in case of in the event of. in the case of as regards. in no case under no circumstances. in that case if that is true; should that happen. is (or is not) the case is (or is not) so.
Etymology: ME f. OF cas f. L casus fall f. cadere cas- to fall 2. n. & v.
1. a container or covering serving to enclose or contain.
2 a container with its contents.
3 the outer protective covering of a watch, book, seed-vessel, sausage, etc.
4 an item of luggage, esp. a suitcase.
5 Printing a partitioned receptacle for type.
6 a glass box for showing specimens, curiosities, etc.
1. enclose in a case.
2 (foll. by with) surround.
3 sl. reconnoitre (a house etc.) esp. with a view to robbery.
Phrases and idioms:
case-bound (of a book) in a hard cover. case-harden
1. harden the surface of, esp. give a steel surface to (iron) by carbonizing.
2 make callous. case-knife a knife carried in a sheath.
1. bullets in an iron case fired from a cannon.
2 shrapnel. lower case small letters. upper case capitals.
Etymology: ME f. OF casse, chasse, f. L capsa f. capere hold