Pronunciation: (kās),[key] —n. 1. an instance of the occurrence, existence, etc., of something: Sailing in such a storm was a case of poor judgment. 2. the actual state of things: That is not the case. 3. a question or problem of moral conduct; matter: a case of conscience. 4. situation; circumstance; plight: Mine is a sad case. 5. a person or thing whose plight or situation calls for attention: This family is a hardship case. 6. 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. 7. a stated argument used to support a viewpoint: He presented a strong case against the proposed law. 8. an instance of disease, injury, etc., requiring medical or surgical attention or treatment; individual affliction: She had a severe case of chicken pox. 9. a medical or surgical patient.
10. Law. a. a suit or action at law; cause.
b. a set of facts giving rise to a legal claim, or to a defense to a legal claim.
11. Gram. a. 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.
b. a set of such categories in a particular language.
c. the meaning of or the meaning typical of such a category.
d. such categories or their meanings collectively.
12. Informal.a peculiar or unusual person: He's a case. 13. 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. 14. get or 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? 15. have a case on,Slang.to be infatuated with: He had a case on the girl next door. 16. 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. 17. in case, if it should happen that; if: In case I am late, don't wait to start dinner. 18. 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. 19. 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.
—n. 1. an often small or portable container for enclosing something, as for carrying or safekeeping; receptacle: a jewel case. 2. a sheath or outer covering: a knife case. 3. a box with its contents: a case of ginger ale. 4. the amount contained in a box or other container: There are a dozen bottles to a case. 5. a pair or couple; brace: a case of pistols. 6. a surrounding frame or framework, as of a door.
7. Bookbinding.a completed book cover ready to be fitted to form the binding of a book.
8. Print.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. Cf. news case. 9. a cavity in the skull of a sperm whale, containing an oil from which spermaceti is obtained.
10. 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. 11. Faro.casebox.
12. Southeastern U.S.(chiefly South Carolina). a coin of a particular denomination, as opposed to the same amount in change: a case quarter. 13. Metall.the hard outer part of a piece of casehardened steel.
—v.t. 1. to put or enclose in a case; cover with a case.
2. Slang.to examine or survey (a house, bank, etc.) in planning a crime (sometimes fol. by out): They cased the joint and decided to pull the job on Sunday. 3. to fuse a layer of glass onto (glass of a contrasting color or of different properties).
4. to cover (a surface of a wall, well, shaft, etc.) with a facing or lining; revet.
5. Bookbinding.to bind (a book) in a case.
6. Cards Slang. a. to arrange (cards or a pack of cards) in a dishonest manner.
b. to remember the quantity, suit, or denomination of (the cards played).