be on someone case


1 [keys]
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.
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.

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

caseless, adjective
caselessly, adverb

encase, in case.

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. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
case1 (keɪs)
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.  a.  a person attended or served by a doctor, social worker, solicitor, etc; patient or client
 b.  (as modifier): a case study
7.  a.  an action or suit at law or something that forms sufficient grounds for bringing an action: he has a good case
 b.  the evidence offered in court to support a claim
8.  grammar
 a.  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
 b.  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.  informal (US) love or infatuation
13.  short for case shot See canister
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
 a.  in order to allow for eventualities
 b.  (as conjunction) in order to allow for the possibility that: take your coat in case it rains
 c.  (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
[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)
1.  a.  a container, such as a box or chest
 b.  (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
6.  a completed cover ready to be fastened to a book to form its binding
7.  printing upper case See also lower case 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
8.  metallurgy the surface of a piece of steel that has been case-hardened
9.  to put into or cover with a case: to case the machinery
10.  slang to inspect carefully (esp a place to be robbed)
[C13: from Old French casse, from Latin capsa, from capere to take, hold]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"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- "to fall down," Armenian chacnum "to fall, become low," perhaps also M.Ir. casar "hail, lightning"). The notion being "that which falls" as "that which happens." Widespread extended senses in law, medicine, grammar, etc. In case "in the event" is recorded from mid-14c. Case history is from 1912, originally medical; case study is from 1933, originally legal.

"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 (first recorded 1580s) to the two trays where compositors keep their types in separate compartments for easy access led to upper case for capitals and lower case for small letters.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

case (kās)
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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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

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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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
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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