plural basket cases
Definition of basket case
1a informal : a person who is functionally incapacitated from extreme nervousness, emotional distress, mental or physical overwork, etc. I was so worried about losing my job that I was a complete basket case. At 6 o'clock nearly every morning, Harvey Mackay hits the floor running. In a few minutes he's off on his seven-miler. "With all the traveling I do, if I didn't run I'd be a basket case," says the man whose dizzy day of activities usually doesn't wind up until one the next morning.— Jim Braham Needless to say, I was a basket case for the rest of the afternoon and evening, convinced that at any moment the man would reappear at my window.— Stephanie Booth
b informal : something (such as a business or government) that is dysfunctional, run-down, or close to failure But the utility industry is a financial basket case. Once the bluest of blue chips, utility stocks and bonds have lost their luster. — Chemical and Engineering News Despite its perceived liabilities, Poland has made astounding progress in just two years. It was an economic basket case until the end of 1989, with hyperinflation, bare shelves and food lines.— Blaine Harden Any antique airplane that can be located is sold (even basket cases) at high premium to enthusiastic antiquers who fly them with pride.— Francis Rourke
2 dated, informal + offensive : a person who has all four limbs amputated
Love words? Need even more definitions?Merriam-Webster unabridged
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