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case1

[keys] /keɪs/
noun
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.
  1. a suit or action at law; cause.
  2. a set of facts giving rise to a legal claim, or to a defense to a legal claim.
11.
Grammar.
  1. 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.
  2. a set of such categories in a particular language.
  3. the meaning of or the meaning typical of such a category.
  4. such categories or their meanings collectively.
12.
Informal. a peculiar or unusual person:
He's a case.
Idioms
13.
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?
14.
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.
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.
Origin
before 1150; Middle English ca(a)s < Anglo-French, Old French cas < Latin cāsus fall, accident, event, grammatical case (translation of Greek ptôsis), equivalent to cad(ere) to fall + -tus suffix of v. action; compare Old English cāsus grammatical case
Related forms
caseless, adjective
caselessly, adverb
Can be confused
encase, in case.
Synonyms
1. Case, instance, example, illustration suggest the existence or occurrence of a particular thing representative of its type. Case and instance are closely allied in meaning, as are example and illustration. 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 is adduced to explain a general idea: an instance of a brawl in which an assault occurred. An example is one typical case, usually from many similar ones, used to make clear or explain the working of a principle (what may be expected of any others of the group): This boy is an example of the effect of strict discipline. An illustration exemplifies a theory or principle similarly, except that the choice may be purely hypothetical: The work of Seeing Eye dogs is an illustration of what is thought to be intelligence in animals.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for be on someone's case

case1

/keɪs/
noun
1.
a single instance, occurrence, or example of something
2.
an instance of disease, injury, hardship, etc
3.
a question or matter for discussion: the case before the committee
4.
a specific condition or state of affairs; situation
5.
a set of arguments supporting a particular action, cause, etc
6.
  1. a person attended or served by a doctor, social worker, solicitor, etc; patient or client
  2. (as modifier): a case study
7.
  1. an action or suit at law or something that forms sufficient grounds for bringing an action: he has a good case
  2. the evidence offered in court to support a claim
8.
(grammar)
  1. 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
  2. any one of these categories: the nominative case
9.
(informal) a person in or regarded as being in a specified condition: the accident victim was a hospital case, he's a mental case
10.
(informal) a person of a specified character (esp in the phrase a hard case)
11.
(informal) an odd person; eccentric
12.
(US, informal) love or infatuation
13.
short for case shot See canister (sense 2b)
14.
as the case may be, according to the circumstances
15.
(adverb) in any case, no matter what; anyhow: we will go in any case
16.
(adverb) in case
  1. in order to allow for eventualities
  2. (as conjunction) in order to allow for the possibility that: take your coat in case it rains
  3. (US) if
17.
(preposition) in case of, in the event of
18.
(adverb) in no case, under no circumstances: in no case should you fight back
Word Origin
Old English casus (grammatical) case, associated also with Old French cas a happening; both from Latin cāsus, a befalling, occurrence, from cadere to fall

case2

/keɪs/
noun
1.
  1. a container, such as a box or chest
  2. (in combination): suitcase, briefcase
2.
an outer cover or sheath, esp for a watch
3.
a receptacle and its contents: a case of ammunition
4.
a pair or brace, esp of pistols
5.
(architect) another word for casing (sense 3)
6.
a completed cover ready to be fastened to a book to form its binding
7.
(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
8.
(metallurgy) the surface of a piece of steel that has been case-hardened
verb (transitive)
9.
to put into or cover with a case: to case the machinery
10.
(slang) to inspect carefully (esp a place to be robbed)
Word Origin
C13: from Old French casse, from Latin capsa, from capere to take, hold
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
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Word Origin and History for be on someone's case

case

n.

early 13c., "what befalls one; state of affairs," from Old French cas "an event, happening, situation, quarrel, trial," from Latin casus "a chance, occasion, opportunity; accident, mishap," literally "a falling," from cas-, past participle 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 root *kad- "to lay out, fall or make fall, yield, break up" (cf. Sanskrit sad- "to fall down," Armenian chacnum "to fall, become low," perhaps also Middle Irish casar "hail, lightning"). The notion being "that which falls" as "that which happens" (cf. befall).

Meaning "instance, example" is from c.1300. Meaning "actual state of affairs" is from c.1400. Given widespread extended and transferred senses in English in law (16c.), medicine (18c.), etc.; the grammatical sense (late 14c.) was in Latin. U.S. slang meaning "person" is from 1848. In case "in the event" is recorded from mid-14c. Case history is from 1879, originally medical; case study "study of a particular case" is from 1879, originally legal.

"receptacle," early 14c., from Anglo-French and Old North French casse (Old French chasse "case, reliquary;" Modern French châsse), from Latin capsa "box, repository" (especially for books), from capere "to take, hold" (see capable).

Meaning "outer protective covering" is from late 14c. Also used from 1660s with a sense "frame" (e.g. staircase, casement). Artillery sense is from 1660s, from case-shot "small projectiles put in cases" (1620s). Its application in the printing trade (first recorded 1580s) to the two trays where compositors keep their types in separate compartments for easy access led to upper-case letter for a capital (1862) and lower-case for small letters.

"The cases, or receptacles, for the type, which are always in pairs, and termed the 'upper' and the 'lower,' are formed of two oblong wooden frames, divided into compartments or boxes of different dimensions, the upper case containing ninety-eight and the lower fifty-four. In the upper case are placed the capital, small capital, and accented letters, also figures, signs for reference to notes &c.; in the lower case the ordinary running letter, points for punctuation, spaces for separating the words, and quadrats for filling up the short lines." ["The Literary Gazette," Jan. 29, 1859]

v.

"enclose in a case," 1570s, from case (n.2). Related: Cased; casing. Meaning "examine, inspect" (usually prior to robbing) is from 1915, American English slang, perhaps from the notion of giving a place a look on all sides (cf. technical case (v.) "cover the outside of a building with a different material," 1707).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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be on someone's case in Medicine

case (kās)
n.
An occurrence of a disease or disorder.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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be on someone's case in Culture

case definition


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 American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for be on someone's case

case

noun
  1. An odd, eccentric person; card, character (1833+)
  2. : Lefty gave the bank a case
verb

(also case out) To inspect, scrutinize, esp with a view to robbery or burglary •Keep the cases in the sense ''keep close watch'' is attested fr 1856, with reference to faro: I've cased this one and it's ripe (1914+ Underworld)

Related Terms

butterfly case, couch case, drop case, get down to cases, get off someone's case, get on someone's case, have a case of the dumb-ass, have a case on someone, headcase, make a federal case out of something, nutball, off someone's case, on someone's case, worst-case scenario


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Related Abbreviations for be on someone's case

CASE

computer-aided software engineering
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Idioms and Phrases with be on someone's case
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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