verb (used with object), cased, cas·ing.

Origin of case

1250–1300; Middle English cas < Anglo-French cas(s)e, Old French chasse < Latin capsa cylindrical case for holding books in scroll form, receptacle
Related formscas·er, nounwell-cased, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cased

Contemporary Examples of cased

  • Burglars will, he said, nearly always have cased a house before breaking in.

    The Daily Beast logo
    How to Stay Liberal After You Get Robbed

    Kelly Williams Brown

    June 29, 2014

  • She had cased the base before—apparently in the belief that a FEMA concentration camp was being built there.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Summer of Hate

    John Avlon

    August 13, 2009

Historical Examples of cased

  • It was exquisitely polished, and cased in the interior with silver.

    Vivian Grey

    Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli

  • And it must be cased in waterproof, to keep it from getting wet and heavy.

    Boy Scouts Handbook

    Boy Scouts of America

  • The roofs of the keep are of copper, and its massive gates are cased in iron.

    Travels in the Far East

    Ellen Mary Hayes Peck

  • For he was cased in the stiff hide, and could do nothing in defence.

  • Firstly, that possibly the specimen had been cased up too soon.

    Practical Taxidermy

    Montagu Browne

British Dictionary definitions for cased




a single instance, occurrence, or example of something
an instance of disease, injury, hardship, etc
a question or matter for discussionthe case before the committee
a specific condition or state of affairs; situation
a set of arguments supporting a particular action, cause, etc
  1. a person attended or served by a doctor, social worker, solicitor, etc; patient or client
  2. (as modifier)a case study
  1. an action or suit at law or something that forms sufficient grounds for bringing an actionhe has a good case
  2. the evidence offered in court to support a claim
  1. a set of grammatical categories of nouns, pronouns, and adjectives, marked by inflection in some languages, indicating the relation of the noun, adjective, or pronoun to other words in the sentence
  2. any one of these categoriesthe nominative case
informal a person in or regarded as being in a specified conditionthe accident victim was a hospital case; he's a mental case
informal a person of a specified character (esp in the phrase a hard case)
informal an odd person; eccentric
US informal love or infatuation
as the case may be according to the circumstances
in any case (adverb) no matter what; anyhowwe will go in any case
in case (adverb)
  1. in order to allow for eventualities
  2. (as conjunction)in order to allow for the possibility thattake your coat in case it rains
  3. USif
in case of (preposition) in the event of
in no case (adverb) under no circumstancesin no case should you fight back

Word Origin for case

Old English casus (grammatical) case, associated also with Old French cas a happening; both from Latin cāsus, a befalling, occurrence, from cadere to fall




  1. a container, such as a box or chest
  2. (in combination)suitcase; briefcase
an outer cover or sheath, esp for a watch
a receptacle and its contentsa case of ammunition
a pair or brace, esp of pistols
architect another word for casing (def. 3)
a completed cover ready to be fastened to a book to form its binding
printing a tray divided into many compartments in which a compositor keeps individual metal types of a particular size and style. Cases were originally used in pairs, one (the upper case) for capitals, the other (the lower case) for small lettersSee also upper case, lower case
metallurgy the surface of a piece of steel that has been case-hardened

verb (tr)

to put into or cover with a caseto case the machinery
slang to inspect carefully (esp a place to be robbed)

Word Origin for case

C13: from Old French casse, from Latin capsa, from capere to take, hold
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for cased



"enclose in a case," 1570s, from case (n.2). Related: Cased; casing. Meaning "examine, inspect" (usually prior to robbing) is from 1915, American English slang, perhaps from the notion of giving a place a look on all sides (cf. technical case (v.) "cover the outside of a building with a different material," 1707).



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.



"receptacle," early 14c., from Anglo-French and Old North French casse (Old French chasse "case, reliquary;" Modern French châsse), from Latin capsa "box, repository" (especially for books), from capere "to take, hold" (see capable).

Meaning "outer protective covering" is from late 14c. Also used from 1660s with a sense "frame" (e.g. staircase, casement). Artillery sense is from 1660s, from case-shot "small projectiles put in cases" (1620s). Its application in the printing trade (first recorded 1580s) to the two trays where compositors keep their types in separate compartments for easy access led to upper-case letter for a capital (1862) and lower-case for small letters.

"The cases, or receptacles, for the type, which are always in pairs, and termed the 'upper' and the 'lower,' are formed of two oblong wooden frames, divided into compartments or boxes of different dimensions, the upper case containing ninety-eight and the lower fifty-four. In the upper case are placed the capital, small capital, and accented letters, also figures, signs for reference to notes &c.; in the lower case the ordinary running letter, points for punctuation, spaces for separating the words, and quadrats for filling up the short lines." ["The Literary Gazette," Jan. 29, 1859]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

cased in Medicine




An occurrence of a disease or disorder.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

cased in Culture


A grammatical category indicating whether nouns and pronouns are functioning as the subject of a sentence (nominative case) or the object of a sentence (objective case), or are indicating possession (possessive case). He is in the nominative case, him is in the objective case, and his is in the possessive case. In a language such as English, nouns do not change their form in the nominative or objective case. Only pronouns do. Thus, ball stays the same in both “the ball is thrown,” where it is the subject, and in “Harry threw the ball,” where it is the object.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with cased


In addition to the idiom beginning with case

  • case in point

also see:

  • basket case
  • get down to brass tacks (cases)
  • have a case on
  • in any case
  • in case of
  • in no case
  • in the case of
  • just in case
  • make a federal case
  • off someone's back (case)
  • open and shut case
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.