2 [keys]
an often small or portable container for enclosing something, as for carrying or safekeeping; receptacle: a jewel case.
a sheath or outer covering: a knife case.
a box with its contents: a case of ginger ale.
the amount contained in a box or other container: There are a dozen bottles to a case.
a pair or couple; brace: a case of pistols.
a surrounding frame or framework, as of a door.
Bookbinding. a completed book cover ready to be fitted to form the binding of a book.
Printing. 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 job case">California job case. Compare news case.
a cavity in the skull of a sperm whale, containing an oil from which spermaceti is obtained.
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.
Faro. casebox.
Southeastern U.S. (chiefly South Carolina) . a coin of a particular denomination, as opposed to the same amount in change: a case quarter.
Metallurgy. the hard outer part of a piece of casehardened steel.
verb (used with object), cased, casing.
to put or enclose in a case; cover with a case.
Slang. to examine or survey (a house, bank, etc.) in planning a crime (sometimes followed by out ): They cased the joint and decided to pull the job on Sunday.
to fuse a layer of glass onto (glass of a contrasting color or of different properties).
to cover (a surface of a wall, well, shaft, etc.) with a facing or lining; revet.
Bookbinding. to bind (a book) in a case.
Cards Slang.
to arrange (cards or a pack of cards) in a dishonest manner.
to remember the quantity, suit, or denomination of (the cards played).

1250–1300; Middle English cas < Anglo-French cas(s)e, Old French chasse < Latin capsa cylindrical case for holding books in scroll form, receptacle

caser, noun
well-cased, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To wellcased
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
Cite This Source
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
Cite This Source
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.
Cite This Source
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.
Cite This Source
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.
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature