basket case


Definition of basket case

1 : a person who has all four limbs amputated
2 : a person who is mentally incapacitated or worn out (as from nervous tension) also : one that is not functioning well or is in a run-down condition an economic basket case

Examples of basket case in a Sentence

I was so worried about losing my job that I was a complete basket case. a business that was once very successful but is now a financial basket case
Recent Examples on the Web More importantly, the difference between becoming a success story like T-Mobile and a basket case like Sprint isn’t just network quality. Washington Post, "T-Mobile Swagger Is What Dish Is Missing," 29 July 2019 His salary was outlandish by Japanese standards, but his greatest sin was making the firm into a corporate governance basket case. Jeff Kingston For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, "Ghosn's dramatic escape could bring much-needed reform to Japanese companies," 17 Jan. 2020 In four decades, China went from a backward basket case to the second-largest economy on the planet. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "Is America Becoming Sinicized?," 17 Oct. 2019 China Minsheng Investment Group Corp., the latest default basket case, is now in a disagreement with its leading creditors over whether to offload the company’s assets to pay down debt, Debtwire reported. Washington Post, "The Muscle That Backed China’s Stimulus Is Quaking," 26 Mar. 2019 From 1949 to 1976, under Mao Zedong, China was an economic basket case, owing to Mao’s personal mismanagement of the economy. Lee Edwards, National Review, "Three Nations That Tried Socialism and Rejected It," 14 Oct. 2019 Poor Hunter is a basket case, whose last run-in with the police was as recent as 2017 and who was kicked out of the Navy for drug abuse. Nr Editors, National Review, "The Week," 24 Oct. 2019 China Minsheng Investment Group Corp., with interests in real estate and renewable energy, is the latest basket case. Washington Post, "One Weird Trick for Avoiding Bad Chinese Bonds," 14 Feb. 2019 Productivity plummeted — production of corn, Zimbabwe’s main staple, fell by two-thirds — and the country swung from being a net food exporter to a basket case within a few years. Glenn Frankel, Washington Post, "Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwean leader who helped liberate and destroy his country, dies at 95," 6 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'basket case.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of basket case

1919, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for basket case

Time Traveler

The first known use of basket case was in 1919

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Statistics for basket case

Last Updated

28 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Basket case.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Apr. 2020.

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More Definitions for basket case

basket case


English Language Learners Definition of basket case

: a person who is very nervous, tired, etc., and is not able to think or act normally
: something (such as a company or a government) that is in very bad condition and close to failure

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