established a very serious <case> against

thetazuo

Senior Member
Chinese - China
The more featureless and commonplace a crime is, the more difficult it is to bring it home. In this case, however, they have established a very serious case against the son of the murdered man.”

The Boscombe Valley Mystery, short story

Hi. What does “case” exactly mean here. Does I mean “evidence”? I know what “establish a case” means, though. build a case against (someone or something)

Thank you.
 
  • Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Meaning #8 in the WR dictionary:

    WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2019
    case1 /keɪs/ n. [countable]
    1. one instance or an example of the occurrence of something: a case of poor judgment.
    2. [usually: be + the + ~] the actual state of things: If that's the case, you'd better get here sooner.
    3. situation;
      circumstance: a hopeless case.
    4. Sociologya patient or client, as of a physician or social worker.
    5. Medicinean instance of disease, injury, etc., requiring attention:a very bad case of arthritis.
    6. a specific occurrence requiring discussion or investigation:We now come to the case of the professor turned down for reappointment.
    7. a statement of facts, reasons, etc., used to support an argument: We presented a strong case against the proposed law.
    8. Law
      • a suit or action before a judge:The murder case came before the new judge.

    Crossed posts with GWB, and I see we don't quite agree.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It’s not as straightforward as it might seem, since the same word is used in various slightly different senses…

    The case in point (the situation) is that someone is believed to have committed the serious crime of murder.

    The case built against him by the police is the body of evidence (DNA matches, murder weapon, witness reports, motive, etc.) that they’ve amassed, which will be presented by the prosecution during his trial.

    The legal action brought against him can be described as a murder case.

    During his trial, opposing lawyers will present in court both the case for the defence and the case for the prosecution of the suspect.
     

    thetazuo

    Senior Member
    Chinese - China
    Thank you all. It seems I should treat “establish a case against” as idiom derived from “build a case against”, which should be understood as a whole.
    The case built against him by the police is the body of evidence (DNA matches, murder weapon, witness reports, motive, etc.) that they’ve amassed, which will be presented by the prosecution during his trial.
    Yes, this is how I understand the set phrase “establish a case against”.
     
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