Definition of case noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    case

     noun
    noun
    BrE BrE//keɪs//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//keɪs//
     
     
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    situation
  1. 1  [countable] a particular situation or a situation of a particular type In some cases people have had to wait several weeks for an appointment. The company only dismisses its employees in cases of gross misconduct. It's a classic case (= a very typical case) of bad planning. see also worst-case Synonymsexamplecase instance specimen illustrationThese are all words for a thing or situation that is typical of a particular group or set, and is sometimes used to support an argument.example something such as an object, a fact or a situation that shows, explains or supports what you say; a thing that is typical of or represents a particular group or set:Can you give me an example of what you mean?case a particular situation or a situation of a particular type; a situation that relates to a particular person or thing:In some cases people have had to wait several weeks for an appointment.instance (rather formal) a particular situation or a situation of a particular type:The report highlights a number of instances of injustice.specimen an example of something, especially an animal or plant:The aquarium has some interesting specimens of unusual tropical fish.illustration (rather formal) a story, an event or an example that clearly shows the truth about something:The statistics are a clear illustration of the point I am trying to make.example or illustration? An illustration is often used to show that something is true. An example is used to help to explain something.Patterns a(n) example/​case/​instance/​specimen/​illustration of something in a particular case/​instance for example/​instance Synonymssituationcircumstances position conditions things the case state of affairsThese are all words for the conditions and facts that are connected with and affect the way things are.situation all the things that are happening at a particular time and in a particular place:the present economic situationcircumstances the facts that are connected with and affect a situation, an event or an action; the conditions of a person’s life, especially the money they have:The ship sank in mysterious circumstances.position the situation that somebody is in, especially when it affects what they can and cannot do:She felt she was in a position of power.conditions the circumstances in which people live, work or do things; the physical situation that affects how something happens:We were forced to work outside in freezing conditions.circumstances or conditions?Circumstances refers to somebody’s financial situation; conditions are things such as the quality and amount of food or shelter they have. The circumstances that affect an event are the facts surrounding it; the conditions that affect it are usually physical ones, such as the weather.things (rather informal) the general situation, as it affects somebody:Hi, Jane! How are things? Think things over before you decide.the case the true situation:If that is the case (= if the situation described is true), we need more staff.state of affairs a situation:How did this unhappy state of affairs come about?situation or state of affairs? State of affairs is mostly used with this. It is also used with adjectives describing how good or bad a situation is, such as happy, sorry, shocking, sad and unhappy, as well as those relating to time, such as present and current. Situation is much more frequent and is used in a wider variety of contexts.Patterns in (a) particular situation/​circumstances/​position/​state of affairs the/​somebody’s economic/​financial/​social situation/​circumstances/​position/​conditions (a/​an) happy/​unhappy situation/​circumstances/​position/​state of affairs to look at/​review the situation/​circumstances/​conditions/​things
  2. 2  the case [singular] case (that…) the true situation If that is the case (= if the situation described is true), we need more staff. It is simply not the case that prison conditions are improving.
  3. 3  [countable, usually singular] a situation that relates to a particular person or thing In your case, we are prepared to be lenient. I cannot make an exception in your case (= for you and not for others). Every application will be decided on a case-by-case basis (= each one will be considered separately). Synonymsexamplecase instance specimen illustrationThese are all words for a thing or situation that is typical of a particular group or set, and is sometimes used to support an argument.example something such as an object, a fact or a situation that shows, explains or supports what you say; a thing that is typical of or represents a particular group or set:Can you give me an example of what you mean?case a particular situation or a situation of a particular type; a situation that relates to a particular person or thing:In some cases people have had to wait several weeks for an appointment.instance (rather formal) a particular situation or a situation of a particular type:The report highlights a number of instances of injustice.specimen an example of something, especially an animal or plant:The aquarium has some interesting specimens of unusual tropical fish.illustration (rather formal) a story, an event or an example that clearly shows the truth about something:The statistics are a clear illustration of the point I am trying to make.example or illustration? An illustration is often used to show that something is true. An example is used to help to explain something.Patterns a(n) example/​case/​instance/​specimen/​illustration of something in a particular case/​instance for example/​instance
  4. police investigation
  5. 4  [countable] a matter that is being officially investigated, especially by the police a murder case a case of theft CollocationsCrimeCommitting a crime commit a crime/​a murder/​a violent assault/​a brutal killing/​an armed robbery/​fraud be involved in terrorism/​a suspected arson attack/​people smuggling/​human trafficking engage/​participate in criminal activity/​illegal practices/​acts of mindless vandalism steal somebody’s wallet/​purse/(British English) mobile phone/(North American English) cell phone rob a bank/​a person/​a tourist break into/ (British English) burgle/ (North American English) burglarize a house/​a home/​an apartment hijack a plane/​ship/​bus smuggle drugs/​weapons/​arms/​immigrants launder drug money (through something) forge documents/​certificates/​passports take/​accept/​pay somebody/​offer (somebody) a bribe run a phishing/​an email/​an Internet scamFighting crime combat/​fight crime/​terrorism/​corruption/​drug trafficking prevent/​stop credit-card fraud/​child abuse/​software piracy deter/​stop criminals/​burglars/​thieves/​shoplifters/​vandals reduce/​tackle/​crack down on knife/​gun/​violent/​street crime; (especially British English) antisocial behaviour foil a bank raid/​a terrorist plot help/​support/​protect the victims of crimeInvestigating crime report a crime/​a theft/​a rape/​an attack/(especially British English) an incident to the police witness the crime/​attack/​murder/​incident investigate a murder/(especially North American English) a homicide/​a burglary/​a robbery/​the alleged incident conduct/​launch/​pursue an investigation (into…); (especially British English) a police/​murder inquiry investigate/​reopen a criminal/​murder case examine/​investigate/​find fingerprints at the crime scene/​the scene of crime collect/​gather forensic evidence uncover new evidence/​a fraud/​a scam/​a plot/​a conspiracy/​political corruption/​a cache of weapons describe/​identify a suspect/​the culprit/​the perpetrator/​the assailant/​the attacker question/​interrogate a suspect/​witness solve/​crack the case
  6. in court
  7. 5  [countable] a question to be decided in court The case will be heard next week. a court case to win/lose a case When does her case come before the court? see also test case
  8. arguments
  9. 6  [countable, usually singular] case (for/against something) a set of facts or arguments that support one side in a trial, a discussion, etc. the case for the defence/prosecution Our lawyer didn't think we had a case (= had enough good arguments to win in a court of law). the case for/against private education The report makes out a strong case (= gives good arguments) for spending more money on hospitals. You will each be given the chance to state your case.
  10. container
  11. 7   [countable] (often in compounds) a container or covering used to protect or store things; a container with its contents or the amount that it contains a pencil case a jewellery case a packing case (= a large wooden box for packing things in) The museum was full of stuffed animals in glass cases. a case (= 12 bottles) of champagne see also vanity case
  12. 8   [countable] = suitcase Let me carry your case for you.
  13. of disease
  14. 9  [countable] the fact of somebody having a disease or an injury; a person suffering from a disease or an injury a severe case of typhoid The most serious cases were treated at the scene of the accident.
  15. person
  16. 10[countable] a person who needs, or is thought to need, special treatment or attention He's a hopeless case.
  17. grammar
  18. 11[countable, uncountable] the form of a noun, an adjective or a pronoun in some languages, that shows its relationship to another word the nominative/accusative/genitive case Latin nouns have case, number and gender. Wordfindercase, conjugate, gender, grammar, inflect, noun, part of speech, singular, subject, tense
  19. Word Originnoun senses 1 to 6 and noun senses 9 to 11 Middle English: from Old French cas, from Latin casus ‘fall’, related to cadere ‘to fall’; in sense (11) directly from Latin, translating Greek ptōsis, literally ‘fall’. noun senses 7 to 8 late Middle English: from Old French casse, chasse (modern caisse ‘trunk, chest’, châsse ‘reliquary, frame’), from Latin capsa, related to capere ‘to hold’.Extra examples A strong case exists for adopting a similar system in this country. About 25% of AIDS cases are linked with the sharing of needles. After the exams, the teacher gave all borderline cases a spoken test. As a lawyer he was involved in high-profile divorce cases. Carter was the senior case officer on the investigation. Complaints are dealt with on a case by case basis. Except in a few rare cases, bee stings are not dangerous. Four officers are investigating the case. He brought a case challenging the legality of the war. He brought the case to the Supreme Court. He had a bad case of appendicitis. He highlighted the case of Harry Farr, 25, who was executed for cowardice in 1916. He highlighted the case of Harry Farr, who was executed in 1916. He put the binoculars back in their carrying case. He was looking through some homicide case files. He was so clearly innocent, the case should never have gone to court. I agree with him, but don’t you think he slightly overstates the case? I thought she argued her case very well. In Polish the verb ‘to be’ takes the instrumental case. In her case, she failed the exam because she wasn’t well. Is there a case against wearing school uniforms? It remains the case that not enough graduates are going into teaching. It was a simple case of mistaken identity. Let’s consider the case of a dealer trying to make a sale. Many professions feel they deserve higher pay, and nurses are a case in point. Medical students study the case histories of many patients. No lawyer would take his case. Our lawyer didn’t think we had a case. She kept all her trophies in a display case. The Department of Health reported five human cases of bird flu. The case against her collapsed when a key witness was proved to have lied. The case against her was very weak. The case came before Judge Hales in the Crown Court. The case hinged on the evidence of the only witness to the killing. The case raises a number of issues. The case was settled out of court. The case was thrown out for lack of evidence. The case will be heard in a higher court. The committee has full powers to deal with any cases of malpractice that arise. The defendant requested more time to prepare his case. The disciplinary committee considered the merits of his case before fining him. The judge ruled that the defendant had no case to answer, as the evidence had been discredited. The jury are required to be unanimous in death-penalty cases. The local MP has taken up the case of the family of six who have been left homeless. The prosecution decided to drop the case. The room was full of stuffed animals in glass cases. The teacher must judge each case according to its merits. The union has taken up the case of the suspended worker. The victim decided to bring a case of rape against him. There have been documented cases of officials accepting bribes. There have been no confirmed cases of BSE in the US. There is a good prima facie case for believing what she says. They never solved the Jones murder case. This is a test case which will influence what other judges decide. This was the hardest case she had handled since becoming a lawyer. Two million new cases of hypertension are diagnosed each year. What evidence do you have to support your case? With his current superb form, he presents an unanswerable case for selection in the team. You can make out a case for changing our teaching methods. a case against wearing business attire a case of animal cruelty a case study of an Amazonian tribe a compensation case involving thousands of workers a gold watch in a presentation case a severe case of food poisoning cases alleging violations of international law the evidence in the case the notorious case of the Botley strangler He claims there has never been a case of food poisoning at his restaurant. He had contracted a severe case of pneumonia. I cannot make an exception in your case. I left my cases at the hotel and set off to meet him. In this case, we are prepared to be lenient. It’s a classic case of bad planning. Over 500 000 cases of cholera were reported in 1991. Police believe it is a simple case of theft. She lost the case and was ordered to pay legal fees. She wanted to pack her case and leave immediately. Take the case of Henry Farr, 25, executed for cowardice in 1916. The book is about the notorious case of the Lindbergh kidnapping. The new evidence weakened the case for the defence. The report makes out a strong case for spending more money on hospitals. The winner will receive a case of champagne. They put their cases in the boot and drove off. a packing case the case for the defence/​prosecutionIdioms used to say that one of two or more possibilities is true, but which one is true depends on the circumstances There may be an announcement about this tomorrow—or not, as the case may be.
    be on somebody’s case
     
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    (informal) to criticize somebody all the time She's always on my case about cleaning my room.
    to be dealing with a particular matter, especially a criminal investigation We have two agents on the case. a clear example of the problem, situation, etc. that is being discussed Language Banke.g.Giving examples The website has a variety of interactive exercises (e.g. matching games, crosswords and quizzes). The website has a variety of interactive exercises, including matching games, crosswords and quizzes. Web 2.0 technologies, such as wikis, blogs and social networking sites, have changed the way that people use the Internet. Many websites now allow users to contribute information. A good example of this is the ‘wiki’, a type of website that anyone can edit. Wikis vary in how open they are. For example, some wikis allow anybody to edit content, while others only allow registered users to do this. Wikis vary in how open they are. Some wikis, for example/for instance, allow anybody to edit content, while others only allow registered users to do this. More and more people read their news on the Internet. To take one example, over 14 million people now read the online version of ‘The Oxford Herald’. Online newspapers are now more popular than paper ones. ‘The Oxford Herald’ is a case in point. Its print circulation has fallen in recent years, while its website attracts millions of users every month.
    (a case of) dog eat dog
     
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    a situation in business, politics, etc. where there is a lot of competition and people are willing to harm each other in order to succeed I'm afraid in this line of work it's a case of dog eat dog. We're operating in a dog-eat-dog world.
    (informal) used to tell somebody to stop criticizing you  whatever happens or may have happened There's no point complaining now—we're leaving tomorrow in any case.  because of the possibility of something happening You'd better take the keys in case I'm out. You probably won't need to call—but take my number, just in case. In case (= if it is true that) you’re wondering why Jo’s here—let me explain…  (often on official notices) if something happens In case of fire, ring the alarm bell.  if that happens or has happened; if that is the situation ‘I’ve made up my mind.’ ‘In that case, there’s no point discussing it.’
    1. 1I rest my case (sometimes humorous) used to say that you do not need to say any more about something because you think that you have proved your point
    2. 2(law) used by lawyers in court to say that they have finished presenting their case The prosecution rests its case.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: case