Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


Humans are funniest when they weep and tremble before, like you say, 'the facts in the case.'

The husband in my case was to be an inconvenience, but doubtless an amusing one.

Friends were there asking after their own Will, or John, or Thomas, as the case might be.

He knew that his case was hopeless, and he would not thaw even to the priest.

To my mind, under the conditions I have referred to, such could not fail to be the case.

The true remedy is not to be sought in that direction in the one case any more than the other.

In this case, I can only hope that in my experience it failed so to do.

It was fortunate that, in this case, no fears could be entertained.

Knife, however, must promise to leave his land to his son-in-law in case he died.

In my case, the minister himself proposed to apply for my testimonials.


early 13c., "what befalls one; state of affairs," from Old French cas "an event, happening, situation, quarrel, trial," from Latin casus "a chance, occasion, opportunity; accident, mishap," literally "a falling," from cas-, past participle 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 root *kad- "to lay out, fall or make fall, yield, break up" (cf. Sanskrit sad- "to fall down," Armenian chacnum "to fall, become low," perhaps also Middle Irish casar "hail, lightning"). The notion being "that which falls" as "that which happens" (cf. befall).

Meaning "instance, example" is from c.1300. Meaning "actual state of affairs" is from c.1400. Given widespread extended and transferred senses in English in law (16c.), medicine (18c.), etc.; the grammatical sense (late 14c.) was in Latin. U.S. slang meaning "person" is from 1848. In case "in the event" is recorded from mid-14c. Case history is from 1879, originally medical; case study "study of a particular case" is from 1879, originally legal.


Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.