Definition of


  1. (noun, act) a comprehensive term for any proceeding in a court of law whereby an individual seeks a legal remedy
  2. (noun, artifact) a portable container for carrying several objects
  3. (noun, artifact) a glass container used to store and display items in a shop or museum or home
  4. (noun, artifact) bed linen consisting of a cover for a pillow
  5. (noun, artifact) (printing) the receptacle in which a compositor has his type, which is divided into compartments for the different letters, spaces, or numbers
  6. (noun, artifact) the enclosing frame around a door or window opening
  7. (noun, artifact) the housing or outer covering of something
  8. (noun, body) an enveloping structure or covering enclosing an animal or plant organ or part
  9. (noun, cognition) the actual state of things
  10. (noun, communication) nouns or pronouns or adjectives (often marked by inflection) related in some way to other words in a sentence
  11. (noun, communication) a statement of facts and reasons used to support an argument
  12. (noun, communication) a problem requiring investigation
  13. (noun, communication) a specific size and style of type within a type family
  14. (noun, event) an occurrence of something
    another instance occurred yesterday
    but there is always the famous example of the Smiths
  15. (noun, person) a person requiring professional services
  16. (noun, person) a person of a specified kind (usually with many eccentricities)
    a strange character
    a friendly eccentric
    the capable type
    a mental case
  17. (noun, person) a person who is subjected to experimental or other observational procedures; someone who is an object of investigation
    the cases that we studied were drawn from two different communities
  18. (noun, quantity) the quantity contained in a case
  19. (noun, state) a special set of circumstances
    it may rain in which case the picnic will be canceled
  20. (noun, state) a specific state of mind that is temporary
  21. (verb, contact) enclose in, or as if in, a case
  22. (verb, perception) look over, usually with the intention to rob

via WordNet, Princeton University

Origin of the word Case

  1. "state of affairs," early 13c., from O.Fr. cas "an event," from L. casus "a chance," lit. "a falling," from cas-, pp. stem of cadere "to fall, sink, settle down, decline, perish" (used widely: of the setting of heavenly bodies, the fall of Troy, suicides), from PIE base *kad- "to lay out, fall or make fall, yield, break up" (cf. Skt. sad-more
  2. "receptacle," c.1300, from O.N.Fr. casse, O.Fr. chasse, from L. capsa "box," from capere "to take, hold" (see capable). The verb meaning "examine, inspect" (usually prior to robbing) is Amer.Eng. slang first recorded 1915. Artillery sense is from 1660s, from case-shot "small projectiles put in cases" (1620s). Reference in the printing trade (f… more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

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