Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary

Definition: Case


What is the dictionary definition of Case?

Dictionary Definition

n. short for a cause of action, lawsuit, or the right to sue (as in “does he have a case against Jones?”). It is also shorthand for the reported decisions (appeals, certain decisions of federal courts and special courts such as the tax court) which can be cited as precedents. Thus, “in the case of Malarkey v. Hogwash Printing Company, the court stated the rule as?.

Full Definition of Case

A case is a legal action filed in court. It can also refer to the evidence and testimony by one party in a lawsuit. It is used to prove the plaintiff or the defendant’s case. A case can be initiated through a complaint, petition, or indictment. If a plaintiff wins a civil case they can be awarded compensation for medical costs, lost wages, death expenses and pain and suffering.

To win a civil case the plaintiff does not have to prove their case “beyond a reasonable doubt” but rather through a preponderance of evidence. Plaintiffs can also bring a civil case against the negligent party or parties even if the defendant is not charged or convicted of a crime. For instance, O.J. Simpson lost a civil injury case and had to pay damages to the family in the Nicole Simpson murder case even though he was found not guilty of murder.

Civil cases are based on the concept of negligence and injury. For instance, if a person’s negligence has injured another party the injured party can sue to recover damages for their loss due to the actions of the defendant. There are many different kinds of civil cases including divorce cases, child support cases, and child custody, automobile incidents, breached contracts, product liability and medical malpractice.

Cite Term

To help you cite our definitions in your bibliography, here is the proper citation layout for the three major formatting styles, with all of the relevant information filled in.

Page URL
Modern Language Association (MLA):
Case. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd.
January 18, 2022
Chicago Manual of Style (CMS):
Case. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. (accessed: January 18, 2022).
American Psychological Association (APA):
Case. Retrieved January 18, 2022
, from website:

Definition Sources

Definitions for Case are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 26th April, 2020 | 2 Views.