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case Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun an occurrence of something
    instance; example.
    • it was a case of bad judgment
    • another instance occurred yesterday
    • but there is always the famous example of the Smiths
  2. noun a special set of circumstances
    • in that event, the first possibility is excluded
    • it may rain in which case the picnic will be canceled
  3. noun a comprehensive term for any proceeding in a court of law whereby an individual seeks a legal remedy
    cause; causa; lawsuit; suit.
    • the family brought suit against the landlord
  4. noun the actual state of things
    • that was not the case
  5. noun a portable container for carrying several objects
    • the musicians left their instrument cases backstage
  6. noun a person requiring professional services
    • a typical case was the suburban housewife described by a marriage counselor
  7. noun a person who is subjected to experimental or other observational procedures; someone who is an object of investigation
    guinea pig; subject.
    • the subjects for this investigation were selected randomly
    • the cases that we studied were drawn from two different communities
  8. noun a problem requiring investigation
    • Perry Mason solved the case of the missing heir
  9. noun a statement of facts and reasons used to support an argument
    • he stated his case clearly
  10. noun the quantity contained in a case
  11. noun nouns or pronouns or adjectives (often marked by inflection) related in some way to other words in a sentence
    grammatical case.
  12. noun a specific state of mind that is temporary
    • a case of the jitters
  13. noun a person of a specified kind (usually with many eccentricities)
    eccentric; character; type.
    • a real character
    • a strange character
    • a friendly eccentric
    • the capable type
    • a mental case
  14. noun a specific size and style of type within a type family
    fount; face; font; typeface.
  15. noun an enveloping structure or covering enclosing an animal or plant organ or part
  16. noun the housing or outer covering of something
    shell; casing.
    • the clock has a walnut case
  17. noun the enclosing frame around a door or window opening
    • the casings had rotted away and had to be replaced
  18. noun (printing) the receptacle in which a compositor has his type, which is divided into compartments for the different letters, spaces, or numbers
    compositor's case; typesetter's case.
    • for English, a compositor will ordinarily have two such cases, the upper case containing the capitals and the lower case containing the small letters
  19. noun bed linen consisting of a cover for a pillow
    pillowcase; slip; pillow slip.
    • the burglar carried his loot in a pillowcase
  20. noun a glass container used to store and display items in a shop or museum or home
    display case; vitrine; showcase.
  21. verb look over, usually with the intention to rob
    • They men cased the housed
  22. verb enclose in, or as if in, a case
    encase; incase.
    • my feet were encased in mud

Case noun
OF. casse, F. caisse (cf. It. cassa), fr. L. capsa chest, box, case, fr. caper to take, hold See Capacious, and cf. 4th Chase, Cash, Enchase, 3d Sash.
  1. A box, sheath, or covering; as, a case for holding goods; a case for spectacles; the case of a watch; the case (capsule) of a cartridge; a case (cover) for a book.
  2. A box and its contents; the quantity contained in a box; as, a case of goods; a case of instruments.
  3. (Print.) A shallow tray divided into compartments or "boxes" for holding type. Cases for type are usually arranged in sets of two, called respectively the upper and the lower case. The upper case contains capitals, small capitals, accented; the lower case contains the small letters, figures, marks of punctuation, quadrats, and spaces.
  4. An inclosing frame; a casing; as, a door case; a window case.
  5. (Mining) A small fissure which admits water to the workings. Knight.
Case transitive verb
imperfect & past participle Cased ; present participle & verbal noun Casing
  1. To cover or protect with, or as with, a case; to inclose.
    The man who, cased in steel, had passed whole days and nights in the saddle. Prescott.
  2. To strip the skin from; as, to case a box. Obs.
Case noun
F. cas, fr. L. casus, fr. cadere to fall, to happen. Cf. Chance.
  1. Chance; accident; hap; opportunity. Obs.
    By aventure, or sort, or cas. Chaucer.
  2. That which befalls, comes, or happens; an event; an instance; a circumstance, or all the circumstamces; condition; state of things; affair; as, a strange case; a case of injustice; the case of the Indian tribes.
    In any case thou shalt deliver him the pledge. Deut. xxiv. 13.
    If the case of the man be so with his wife. Matt. xix. 10.
    And when a lady's in the case. You know all other things give place. Gay.
    You think this madness but a common case. Pope.
    I am in case to justle a constable, Shak.
  3. (Med. & Surg.) A patient under treatment; an instance of sickness or injury; as, ten cases of fever; also, the history of a disease or injury.
    A proper remedy in hypochondriacal cases. Arbuthnot.
  4. (Law) The matters of fact or conditions involved in a suit, as distinguished from the questions of law; a suit or action at law; a cause.
    Let us consider the reason of the case, for nothing is law that is not reason. Sir John Powell.
    Not one case in the reports of our courts. Steele.
  5. (Gram.) One of the forms, or the inflections or changes of form, of a noun, pronoun, or adjective, which indicate its relation to other words, and in the aggregate constitute its declension; the relation which a noun or pronoun sustains to some other word.
    Case is properly a falling off from the nominative or first state of word; the name for which, however, is now, by extension of its signification, applied also to the nominative. J. W. Gibbs.
    Cases other than the nominative are oblique cases. Case endings are terminations by which certain cases are distinguished. In old English, as in Latin, nouns had several cases distinguished by case endings, but in modern English only that of the possessive case is retained. Syn. -- Situation, condition, state; circumstances; plight; predicament; occurrence; contingency; accident; event; conjuncture; cause; action; suit.
Case intransitive verb
  1. To propose hypothetical cases. Obs. "Casing upon the matter." L'Estrange.

Webster 1913

"Rowling never met an adverb she didn't like."

-Stephen King on J.K Rowling's excessive use of adverbs.

Fear not the Adverb Hell!

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