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case - definition and synonyms

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noun     case pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
  1. 1
    [countable] an example or instance of something
    case of:

    a serious case of nerves

  2. 2
    [countable] [usually singular] a situation or set of conditions, especially one involving a particular person or thing

    I think we can make an exception in your case.

    be the case:

    This was the case in the past, but now life is different.

    if that’s the case:

    If that’s the case, I’m not surprised he was angry.

    it is the case that:

    Isn’t it the case that they’re afraid of change?

    it’s a case of:

    It really is a case of ‘no news is good news’.

    in that case:

    ‘I don’t need it tonight.’ ‘In that case, I’ll keep it until tomorrow.’

    in which case:

    They can still agree to our conditions, in which case the bombing will stop.

    as is the case:

    Often, as is the case for these families, there is no other source of support.

  3. 3
    [countable] a legal matter that will be decided in a court
    a murder/rape/libel case:

    A number of libel cases were taken to the Court of Appeal.

    case against:

    He was confident the case against him would be dropped.

    win/lose a case:

    He would do anything to win a case.

    1. a.
      a crime that the police are trying to solve

      At least a dozen officers are investigating the murder case.

    2. b.
      the evidence and arguments that one side can use against the other in a law court
      the case for the prosecution/the defence:

      Mr Scott informed the judge that he had completed the case for the prosecution.

      have a case (=have a chance of winning):

      The lawyers told me I didn’t have a case.

  4. 4
    [countable] a set of facts and arguments that you can state for or against something

    This strengthens the case of those who argue that the UK should have a Bill of Rights.

    case for/against:

    There is a strong case for government intervention.

    state your case:

    She was being offered a chance to state her case.

    make (out) a case for something:

    Calvin makes a good case for this unpopular policy in his article.

    A case can be made for reducing taxes right now.

  5. 5
    [countable] a situation or person to be dealt with, often by an official

    There have been several reports of cases of neglected and abused children.

  6. 6
    [countable] a container or cover for keeping or protecting something

    Have you seen my glasses’ case anywhere?

    Synonyms and related words
    1. a.
      a piece of furniture made of wood and glass in which objects are shown in a shop or museum
  7. 7
    [countable/uncountable] linguistics a form of a noun, adjective, or pronoun in some languages that shows its relationship in grammar to other words in a sentence
  8. From our crowdsourced Open Dictionary
    the distinction between a letter written in upper-case (ABC), also called a capital letter, or lower-case (abc), also called a minuscule letter

    In typography, the case of the text is as important as typing in bold font or in italics.

    Submitted by Climentlepiment from France on 25/05/2015
  9. From our crowdsourced Open Dictionary
    set out the case for/against something to cite arguments in favour or against something

    The education minister set out the case for reforming the current system of education.

    Submitted by Boris Marchenko from Russian Federation on 27/07/2016
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