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Meaning of case in English

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case noun ( SITUATION )

  • We don't usually accept late applications , but in this case we will make an exception .
  • The newspaper photo apparently showed him in Rome but it was a case of mistaken identity .
  • As is often the case with children , Amy was completely better by the time the doctor arrived .
  • He may possibly decide not to come, in which case there's no problem .
  • In special cases the manager will stretch the rules .
  • advertisement
  • benchmarking
  • cross-section
  • for instance idiom
  • illustration
  • incarnation
  • quintessence

You can also find related words, phrases, and synonyms in the topics:

case noun ( PROBLEM )

  • He has been cited as the co-respondent in the divorce case.
  • The court's decision on this case will turn the clock back 50 years .
  • The lack of evidence means that the case is unlikely to go to court .
  • The jury took five days to deliberate on the case.
  • His lawyers have decided not to proceed with the case.
  • convalescent
  • day patient
  • health tourist
  • medical tourist
  • non-responder
  • organ donor

case noun ( CONTAINER )

  • The crown , decorated with diamonds and other precious stones , was exhibited in a special case.
  • Inside the small wooden case is a gold-chain necklace .
  • Don't forget to put the thermometer back in its case.
  • I emptied the closet and put my belongings into the black overnight case.
  • "Can you lift this case?" "It depends on how heavy it is."
  • I've lashed your case to the roof rack .
  • The boys brought a few cases of beer .
  • biscuit tin
  • packing case

case noun ( ARGUMENT )

  • The case against her was circumstantial .
  • You can argue the case either way.
  • The shareholders seem to think that the executive board is overstating the case for a merger .
  • They paid a high-powered attorney to plead their case .
  • Once again he tried to press his case for promotion .
  • argumentation
  • ascribe something to something
  • explanation
  • explication
  • extenuating
  • extenuation
  • unclarified
  • warrantable
  • warrantably

case noun ( GRAMMAR )

  • appositively
  • attributively
  • post-modifier
  • postposition
  • postpositional
  • postpositive
  • postpositively

case noun ( WRITING )

  • 3-D printing
  • indentation
  • print on demand
  • print something out
  • typographical
  • unpublished

case | American Dictionary

Case noun [c] ( situation ), case noun [c] ( problem ), case noun [c] ( argument ), case noun [c] ( container ), case noun [c] ( grammar ), case | business english, examples of case, collocations with case.

These are words often used in combination with case .

Click on a collocation to see more examples of it.

Translations of case

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(of an aircraft) to move slowly on the ground

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Tucking in and pigging out (Eating phrasal verbs)

what is case meaning

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  • Dictionary +Plus Word Lists
  • case (SITUATION)
  • in that case
  • (not) the case
  • in any case
  • (just) in case
  • in case of something
  • in the case of someone/something
  • a case of something
  • a case in point
  • as is the case
  • as the case might be
  • case (PROBLEM)
  • case (CONTAINER)
  • case (ARGUMENT)
  • case (GRAMMAR)
  • case (WRITING)
  • case the joint
  • Business    Noun
  • Collocations
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Definition of 'case'

Case instances and other abstract meanings.

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case containers

Case grammar term, video: pronunciation of case.

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an instance of the occurrence, existence, etc., of something: Sailing in such a storm was a case of poor judgment.

the actual state of things: That is not the case.

a question or problem of moral conduct; matter : a case of conscience.

situation ; circumstance ; plight : Mine is a sad case.

a person or thing whose plight or situation calls for attention: This family is a hardship case.

a specific occurrence or matter requiring discussion, decision, or investigation, as by officials or law-enforcement authorities: The police studied the case of the missing jewels.

a stated argument used to support a viewpoint: He presented a strong case against the proposed law.

an instance of disease, injury, etc., requiring medical or surgical attention or treatment; individual affliction: She had a severe case of chicken pox.

a medical or surgical patient.

a suit or action at law; cause .

a set of facts giving rise to a legal claim, or to a defense to a legal claim.

a category in the inflection of nouns, pronouns, and adjectives, noting the syntactic relation of these words to other words in the sentence, indicated by the form or the position of the words.

a set of such categories in a particular language.

the meaning of or the meaning typical of such a category.

such categories or their meanings collectively.

Informal . a peculiar or unusual person: He's a case.

Idioms about case

get / be on someone's case , Slang . to bother or nag someone; meddle in someone's affairs: Her brother is always on her case about getting married. Why do you keep getting on my case?

get off someone's case , Slang . to stop bothering or criticizing someone or interfering in someone's affairs: I've had enough of your advice, so just get off my case.

have a case on , Slang . to be infatuated with: He had a case on the girl next door.

in any case , regardless of circumstances; be that as it may; anyhow : In any case, there won't be any necessity for you to come along.

in case , if it should happen that; if : In case I am late, don't wait to start dinner.

in case of , in the event of; if there should be: In case of an error in judgment, the group leader will be held responsible.

in no case , under no condition; never : He should in no case be allowed to get up until he has completely recovered from his illness.

Origin of case

Synonym study for case, other words from case.

  • caseless, adjective
  • case·less·ly, adverb

Words that may be confused with case

  • encase , in case

Words Nearby case

  • cascading style sheet
  • cascara sagrada

Other definitions for case (2 of 2)

an often small or portable container for enclosing something, as for carrying or safekeeping; receptacle: a jewel case.

a sheath or outer covering: a knife case.

a box with its contents: a case of ginger ale.

the amount contained in a box or other container: There are a dozen bottles to a case.

a pair or couple; brace: a case of pistols.

a surrounding frame or framework, as of a door.

Bookbinding . a completed book cover ready to be fitted to form the binding of a book.

Printing . a tray of wood, metal, or plastic, divided into compartments for holding types for the use of a compositor and usually arranged in a set of two, the upper ( upper case ) for capital letters and often auxiliary types, the lower ( lower case ) for small letters and often auxiliary types, now generally replaced by the California job case . : Compare news case .

a cavity in the skull of a sperm whale, containing an oil from which spermaceti is obtained.

Also called case card. Cards . the last card of a suit or denomination that remains after the other cards have been played: a case heart; the case jack.

Faro . casebox .

Southeastern U.S. (chiefly South Carolina) . a coin of a particular denomination, as opposed to the same amount in change: a case quarter.

Metallurgy . the hard outer part of a piece of casehardened steel.

to put or enclose in a case; cover with a case.

Slang . to examine or survey (a house, bank, etc.) in planning a crime (sometimes followed by out ): They cased the joint and decided to pull the job on Sunday.

to fuse a layer of glass onto (glass of a contrasting color or of different properties).

to cover (a surface of a wall, well, shaft, etc.) with a facing or lining; revet.

Bookbinding . to bind (a book) in a case.

Cards Slang .

to arrange (cards or a pack of cards) in a dishonest manner.

to remember the quantity, suit, or denomination of (the cards played).

  • caser, noun
  • well-cased, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use case in a sentence

In some cases, it’s people that didn’t even know they were sick.

The case stemmed from challenges to the state’s orders to close “non life-sustaining” businesses and to limit gatherings to 25 people indoors or 250 people outdoors.

Redfield said he expected a vaccine to start being available in November or December, with the first people to receive it being those with health problems that make them most vulnerable to a severe case or death if they are infected.

In the past, when I’ve discussed a case , unfortunately, that individual’s name was leaked to the media.

In each case , Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden leads — by a wide margin in Minnesota and a narrow one in Wisconsin.

Certain features of its history suggest why this may be the case .

And, in the case of fluoride, at least, that doubt might actually be justified.

Her latest book, Heretic: The case for a Muslim Reformation, will be published in April by HarperCollins.

Their friendship began when Krauss, who was chairman of the physics department at case Western in Cleveland, sought out Epstein.

A grand juror in the Ferguson case is suing to be able to explain exactly what went down in the courtroom.

The case was an assault and battery that came off between two men named Brown and Henderson.

In this case , I suspect, there was co-operant a strongly marked childish characteristic, the love of producing an effect.

Sometimes in the case of large plants, cones have been known to occur on the tips of the branches of the Marsh Horsetail.

As a rule, however, even in the case of extreme varieties, a careful examination of the specimen will enable it to be identified.

Thus was the man left entirely to the devil, not even his life being reserved, as in the case of Job.

British Dictionary definitions for case (1 of 2)

/ ( keɪs ) /

a single instance, occurrence, or example of something

an instance of disease, injury, hardship, etc

a question or matter for discussion : the case before the committee

a specific condition or state of affairs; situation

a set of arguments supporting a particular action, cause, etc

a person attended or served by a doctor, social worker, solicitor, etc; patient or client

( as modifier ) : a case study

an action or suit at law or something that forms sufficient grounds for bringing an action : he has a good case

the evidence offered in court to support a claim

a set of grammatical categories of nouns, pronouns, and adjectives, marked by inflection in some languages, indicating the relation of the noun, adjective, or pronoun to other words in the sentence

any one of these categories : the nominative case

informal a person in or regarded as being in a specified condition : the accident victim was a hospital case ; he's a mental case

informal a person of a specified character (esp in the phrase a hard case )

informal an odd person; eccentric

US informal love or infatuation

short for case shot See canister (def. 2b)

as the case may be according to the circumstances

in any case (adverb) no matter what; anyhow : we will go in any case

in case (adverb)

in order to allow for eventualities

(as conjunction) in order to allow for the possibility that : take your coat in case it rains

in case of (preposition) in the event of

in no case (adverb) under no circumstances : in no case should you fight back

British Dictionary definitions for case (2 of 2)

a container, such as a box or chest

( in combination ) : suitcase ; briefcase

an outer cover or sheath, esp for a watch

a receptacle and its contents : a case of ammunition

a pair or brace, esp of pistols

architect another word for casing (def. 3)

a completed cover ready to be fastened to a book to form its binding

printing a tray divided into many compartments in which a compositor keeps individual metal types of a particular size and style. Cases were originally used in pairs, one (the upper case) for capitals, the other (the lower case) for small letters : See also upper case, lower case

metallurgy the surface of a piece of steel that has been case-hardened

to put into or cover with a case : to case the machinery

slang to inspect carefully (esp a place to be robbed)

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Cultural definitions for case

A grammatical category indicating whether nouns and pronouns are functioning as the subject of a sentence ( nominative case ) or the object of a sentence ( objective case ), or are indicating possession ( possessive case ). He is in the nominative case, him is in the objective case, and his is in the possessive case. In a language such as English, nouns do not change their form in the nominative or objective case. Only pronouns do. Thus, ball stays the same in both “the ball is thrown,” where it is the subject, and in “Harry threw the ball ,” where it is the object.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Other Idioms and Phrases with case

In addition to the idiom beginning with case

  • case in point
  • basket case
  • get down to brass tacks (cases)
  • have a case on
  • in any case
  • in the case of
  • just in case
  • make a federal case
  • off someone's back (case)
  • open and shut case

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

  • Vocabulary exercises help you to learn synonyms, collocations and idioms.
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More results

  • be cased in something
  • case the joint

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Definition of case noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

  • in… cases In some cases people have had to wait several weeks for an appointment.
  • In most cases the increases have been marginal.
  • In many cases it is the pressure of the job that causes managers to behave like this.
  • What should be done in such cases ?
  • The substances causes nausea, sickness and, in extreme cases , death.
  • in cases of something The company only dismisses its employees in cases of gross misconduct.
  • in the case of something In the case of banks, the law can limit activities.
  • Sometimes compost isn't enough, in which case artificial products may have to be used.
  • a case of something It's a classic case (= a very typical case) of bad planning.
  • This appears to be a case of mistaken identity.
  • Can you give me an example of what you mean?
  • In some cases people have had to wait several weeks for an appointment.
  • The report highlights a number of instances of injustice.
  • The aquarium has some interesting specimens of unusual tropical fish.
  • The statistics are a clear illustration of the point I am trying to make.
  • a(n) example/​case/​instance/​specimen/​illustration of something
  • in a particular case/​instance
  • for example/​instance
  • the present economic situation
  • The ship sank in mysterious circumstances.
  • She felt she was in a position of power.
  • We were forced to work outside in freezing conditions.
  • Hi, Jane! How are things?
  • Think things over before you decide.
  • If that is the case (= if the situation described is true) , we need more staff.
  • How did this unhappy state of affairs come about?
  • in (a) particular situation/​circumstances/​position/​state of affairs
  • the/​somebody’s economic/​financial/​social situation/​circumstances/​position/​conditions
  • (a/​an) happy/​unhappy situation/​circumstances/​position/​state of affairs
  • to look at/​review the situation/​the circumstances/​the conditions/​things
  • Except in a few rare cases, bee stings are not dangerous.
  • It was a simple case of mistaken identity.
  • The committee has full powers to deal with any cases of malpractice that arise.
  • There have been documented cases of officials accepting bribes.
  • a case of animal cruelty
  • cases alleging violations of international law
  • in somebody’s/​this case
  • case by case
  • a case in point

Questions about grammar and vocabulary?

Find the answers with Practical English Usage online, your indispensable guide to problems in English.

  • be the case If that is the case (= if the situation described is true) , we need more staff.
  • it's the case that… It is simply not the case that prison conditions are improving.
  • It remains the case that not enough graduates are going into teaching.
  • in somebody's case I cannot make an exception in your case (= for you and not for others) .
  • In your case, we are prepared to be lenient.
  • in this case Don't underestimate the power of the pen, or in this case, the power of the keyboard.
  • In the present case , the facts are not disputed.
  • Every application will be decided on a case-by-case basis (= each one will be considered separately) .
  • In her case, she failed the exam because she wasn't well.
  • He highlighted the case of Harry Farr, who was executed in 1916.
  • Complaints are dealt with on a case by case basis.
  • The teacher must judge each case according to its merits.
  • Let's consider the case of a dealer trying to make a sale.

police investigation

  • They never solved the Jones murder case.
  • Police believe it is a simple case of theft.
  • Four officers are investigating the case .
  • commit a crime/​a murder/​a violent assault/​a brutal killing/​an armed robbery/​fraud
  • be involved in terrorism/​a suspected arson attack/​human trafficking
  • engage/​participate in criminal activity/​illegal practices/​acts of mindless vandalism
  • steal somebody’s wallet/​purse/ (British English) mobile phone/ (North American English) cell phone
  • rob a bank/​a person/​a tourist
  • break into/ (British English) burgle/ (North American English) burglarize a house/​a home/​an apartment
  • hijack a plane/​ship/​bus
  • smuggle drugs/​weapons/​arms
  • traffic people/​wildlife/​narcotics/​cocaine
  • launder drug money (through something)
  • forge documents/​certificates/​passports
  • take/​accept/​pay somebody/​offer (somebody) a bribe
  • run a phishing/​an email/​an internet scam
  • combat/​fight crime/​terrorism/​corruption/​drug trafficking
  • prevent/​stop credit-card fraud/​child abuse/​software piracy
  • deter/​stop criminals/​burglars/​thieves/​shoplifters/​vandals
  • reduce/​tackle/​crack down on knife/​gun/​violent/​street crime; (especially British English) antisocial behaviour
  • foil a bank raid/​a terrorist plot
  • help/​support/​protect the victims of crime
  • report a crime/​a theft/​a rape/​an attack/ (especially British English) an incident to the police
  • witness the crime/​attack/​murder/​incident
  • investigate a murder/ (especially North American English) a homicide/​a burglary/​a robbery/​the alleged incident
  • conduct/​launch/​pursue an investigation (into…); (especially British English) a police/​murder inquiry
  • investigate/​reopen a criminal/​murder case
  • examine/​investigate/​find fingerprints at the crime scene/​the scene of crime
  • collect/​gather forensic evidence
  • uncover new evidence/​a fraud/​a scam/​a plot/​a conspiracy/​political corruption/​a cache of weapons
  • describe/​identify a suspect/​the culprit/​the perpetrator/​the assailant/​the attacker
  • question/​interrogate a suspect/​witness
  • solve/​crack the case
  • The case hinged on the evidence of the only witness to the killing.
  • This was the hardest case she had handled since becoming a lawyer.
  • the notorious case of the Botley strangler
  • The book is about the notorious case of the Lindbergh kidnapping.
  • He was looking through some homicide case files.
  • The judge ruled that the defendant had no case to answer, as the evidence had been discredited.
  • As a lawyer he was involved in high-profile divorce cases.
  • Carter was the senior case officer on the investigation.
  • The case raises a number of issues.
  • No lawyer would take his case.
  • a compensation case involving thousands of workers
  • The disciplinary committee considered the merits of his case before fining him.
  • The union has taken up the case of the suspended worker.
  • The local MP has taken up the case of the family of six who have been left homeless.
  • investigate
  • on the case
  • a court case
  • a criminal/civil case
  • The case will be heard next week.
  • The Supreme Court heard the case yesterday.
  • to win/lose a case
  • When does her case come before the court?
  • the evidence in the case
  • She lost the case and was ordered to pay legal fees.
  • The case against her collapsed when a key witness was proved to have lied.
  • The case came before Judge Hales in the Crown Court.
  • The case will be heard in a higher court.
  • The case was thrown out for lack of evidence.
  • The case was settled out of court.
  • The jury are required to be unanimous in death-penalty cases.
  • He brought a case challenging the legality of the war.
  • He brought the case to the Supreme Court.
  • The prosecution decided to drop the case.
  • He was so clearly innocent, the case should never have gone to court.
  • He pledged to bring a case of constructive dismissal against the government.
  • come before somebody
  • come to court
  • go to court
  • in a/​the case
  • case against
  • a case to answer
  • no case to answer
  • the circumstances of a case
  • Our lawyer didn't think we had a case (= had enough good arguments to win in a court of law) .
  • case for something the case for the defence/prosecution
  • case against somebody/something The case against her was very weak.
  • Let us consider the case for and against private education.
  • case for doing something The report makes out a strong case (= gives good arguments) for spending more money on hospitals.
  • He successfully argued the case for accepting the agreement.
  • case that… They try to make the case that this war is necessary.
  • You will each be given the change to state your case.
  • The defendant requested more time to prepare his case.
  • There is a good prima facie case for believing what she says.
  • What evidence do you have to support your case?
  • The new evidence weakened the case for the defence.
  • I thought she argued her case very well.
  • I agree with him, but don't you think he slightly overstates the case?
  • You can make out a case for changing our teaching methods.
  • With his current superb form, he presents an unanswerable case for selection in the team.
  • a case against wearing business attire
  • The report makes out a strong case for spending more money on hospitals.
  • Is there a case against wearing school uniforms?
  • A strong case exists for adopting a similar system in this country.
  • the case for the defence/​defense
  • the case for the prosecution
  • the merits of a case

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  1. What Does “case Dismissed” Mean?

    The term “case dismissed” is used by courts to end a legal action prior to completing the trial process, according to USLegal. This action may occur prior to the start of the trial or during the trial in response to a filed motion.

  2. What Does “case Adjudicated” Mean?

    Case adjudication is the formal resolution of a case by the pronouncement of a judgment or decree by the court. The term applies to both civil and criminal cases. In certain locations, such as Florida, the judge has the option of settling a...

  3. What Does It Mean Legally When a Case Is Date Vacated by Judge?

    When a judge vacates something, it means the ruling or verdict is set aside, such as an order or judgment that he finds improper. In the case of tenancy law, vacate refers to an order to move out and cease occupancy of a rental unit, accord...

  4. CASE

    case noun [C] (ARGUMENT). arguments, facts, and reasons in support of or against something: He presented the case against cutting the military budget. law In a

  5. Case Definition & Meaning

    The meaning of CASE is a set of circumstances or conditions. How to use case in a sentence. Synonym Discussion of Case.

  6. CASE definition and meaning

    case is a general word, meaning a fact, occurrence, or situation typical of a class: a case of assault and battery. An instance is a concrete factual case which

  7. CASE Definition & Usage Examples

    case · a question or problem of moral conduct; matter: a case of conscience. · situation; circumstance; plight: Mine is a sad case. · a person or thing whose

  8. Case

    A case is a specific instance or example of something. Your teacher might say, "In your case, I think you should go right into the calculus class."

  9. Case Definition & Meaning

    CASE meaning: 1 : a situation or occurrence that is an instance or example of something; 2 : a situation that is being investigated or managed by someone

  10. case

    2 situation [countable usually singular]SITUATION a situation that exists, especially as it affects a particular person or groupin somebody's case Like

  11. case

    Can you give me an example of what you mean? case a particular situation or a situation of a particular type; a situation that relates to a particular person or

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    case · a single instance, occurrence, or example of something · an instance of disease, injury, hardship, etc · a question or matter for discussion: the case

  13. Case Definition & Meaning

    Case definition: An instance or occurrence of a particular kind or category.

  14. Case

    case · an instance of the occurrence, existence, etc., of something: a case of poor judgment. · the actual state of things: That is not the case. · situation;