Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

in case - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

  1. 1
    in order to be prepared for something that may happen

    Take an umbrella in case it rains.

    just in case:

    I’ll make some sandwiches, just in case we get hungry later on.

    in case of:

    In case of bad weather, the wedding will be held indoors.

  2. 2
    used for explaining why you are doing something

    In case you were wondering, I’m here to see your brother, not you.

  3. 3
    mainly American if

    In case you can’t come, give me a call before I leave for work.

    Synonyms and related words
See also main entry: case
quiz invitation


a description of an economic or political situation based on analysis of information at the present time

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


an unregulated form of capitalism that features financial deregulation, privatisation and low tax for high earners

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play