from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A container; a receptacle.
  • noun A container with its contents.
  • noun A decorative or protective covering or cover.
  • noun A set or pair.
  • noun The frame or framework of a window, door, or stairway.
  • noun The surface or outer layer of a metal alloy.
  • noun A shallow compartmented tray for storing type or type matrices.
  • noun The form of a written, printed, or keyed letter that distinguishes it as being lowercase or uppercase.
  • transitive verb To put into or cover with a case; encase.
  • transitive verb Slang To examine carefully, as in planning a crime.
  • noun An instance or occurrence of a particular kind or category: synonym: example.
  • noun An occurrence of a disease or disorder.
  • noun A set of circumstances or a state of affairs; a situation.
  • noun Actual fact; reality.
  • noun A question or problem; a matter.
  • noun A situation that requires investigation, especially by a formal or official body.
  • noun An action or a suit or just grounds for an action.
  • noun The facts or evidence offered in support of a claim.
  • noun A set of reasons or supporting facts; an argument.
  • noun A person being assisted, treated, or studied, as by a physician, lawyer, or social worker.
  • noun Informal A peculiar or eccentric person; a character.
  • noun In traditional grammar, a distinct form of a noun, pronoun, or modifier that is used to express one or more particular syntactic relationships to other words in a sentence.
  • noun In some varieties of generative grammar, the thematic or semantic role of a noun phrase as represented abstractly but not necessarily indicated overtly in surface structure. In such frameworks, nouns in English have Case even in the absence of inflectional case endings.
  • idiom (in any case) Regardless of what has occurred or will occur.
  • idiom (in case) If it happens that; if.
  • idiom (in case) As a precaution.
  • idiom (in case of) If there should happen to be.
  • idiom (off (someone's) case) No longer nagging or urging someone to do something.
  • idiom (on (someone's) case) Persistently nagging or urging someone to do something.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To put cases; bring forward propositions.
  • noun In the tobacco trade, the state of the leaf, during and after the process of curing, with respect to moisture-content and pliability: common in such phrases as in case (more or less moist), in good case (with the right degree of moisture), too high case, etc. See order, 17.
  • noun An action brought, usually by agreement between parties, in which the constitutionality or validity of an act will be brought in question and judicially determined.
  • To bring into the desired ‘case’ or condition; specifically, in the tobacco trade, to bring the leaf into the desired condition as to moisture and pliability, and the admixture of ingredients to give flavor, etc. See case, n., 9, *caser, n., and *casing, n. Also spelled in the trade, kase.
  • noun In the postal service, a series of open boxes or large pigeonholes in which letters are placed in assorting them for distribution. Each box is for a particular place, and the distributor, standing at a table in a post-office or railway postal car, throws each letter into the proper box in the case.
  • noun Nautical, the outside planking of a vessel.
  • noun In whaling, the well or hole in the head of a sperm-whale, which contains, in a free state, the most valuable oil given by it.
  • noun In faro, a card when it is the only one of its denomination remaining in the dealing-box.
  • noun Literally, that which happens or befalls. Hap; contingency; event; chance.
  • noun State; condition; state of circumstances.
  • noun A particular determination of events or circumstances; a special state of things coming under a general description or rule.
  • noun In medicine, an instance of disease under or requiring medical treatment, or the series of occurrences or symptoms which characterize it: as, the doctor has many cases of fever in hand; the patient explained his case.
  • noun A state of things involving a question for discussion or decision.
  • noun Specifically
  • noun In law: A cause or suit in court; any instance of litigation: as, the case was tried at the last term.
  • noun The state of facts or the presentation of evidence on which a party to litigation relies for his success, whether as plaintiff or defendant: as, in cross-examining plaintiff's witness, defendant has no right to go beyond the limits of the direct examination, for such inquiries are part of his own case.
  • noun Under American procedure, a document prepared by the appellant on an appeal, containing the evidence, or the substance of it, and the proceedings on the trial in the court below.
  • noun In grammar, in many languages, one of the forms having different offices in the sentence which together make up the inflection of a noun: as, the nominative case, that of the subject of the verb, as he, dominus (Latin); the accusative or objective case, as him, dominum; the genitive or possessive case, as his (John's), domini.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Norman French casse, from Latin capsa.]

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English cas, from Old French, from Latin cāsus, from past participle of cadere, to fall; see kad- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English cas, from Old Northern French casse, Old French chasse ("box, chest, case"), from Latin capsa ("box, bookcase"), from capio ("to take, seize, hold").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English cas, from Old English cas, casus ("noun case"), from Old French cas ("an event"), from Latin casus ("a falling, a fall; accident, event, occurrence; occasion, opportunity; noun case"), perfect passive participle of cado ("to fall, to drop"), from Proto-Indo-European *kad- (“to fall”).


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  • Making love, of course, is already prayer.

    Skin, and open mouths worshipping that skin,

    the fragile cases we are poured into.

    - Ellen Bass, 'Pray For Peace'.

    September 7, 2009