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In the event that (something does or does not happen). I brought some snacks for us, in case we get stuck in traffic. Be sure to set two alarms, just in case the first one doesn't go off. I always carry a flashlight in my purse, just in case.
in case (something happens)
in the event that something takes place. She carries an umbrella in case it rains. I have some aspirin in my office in case I get a headache. He keeps afire extinguisher in his car, just in case.
1. Also, just in case. If it should happen that. For example, In case he doesn't show up, we have a backup speaker. The variant also is used without a following clause to mean simply "as a precaution," as in I took an umbrella just in case. [c. 1400]
2. in case of; in the event of. If there should happen to be. For example, Here is a number to call in case of an emergency, or In the event of a power failure, we'll have to shift our plans. Similarly, in that case means "if that should happen," as in You're alone in the store? In that case I'll bring your lunch. The first usage dates from the early 1700s, the second (with event) from about 1600, and the third from the mid-1800s. Also see in any case; in no case; in the case of.
(just) in caseso as to be prepared for what may or may not happen: Somebody should stay at home in case John phones. ♢ ‘Did Clara say she’d phone?’ ‘No, but somebody should stay here just in case.’
1. If it happens that; if.
2. As a precaution: took along an umbrella, just in case.