What Does Case in Point Mean?

Case in Point Meaning

Definition: A relevant example of something.

Origin of Case in Point

This expression originally was shorter; it was simply in point. It comes from the French expression a pointe. The French meaning was something relevant and to the point.

Case is sometimes used in a similar way to for example, and over time people started saying case in point instead of just in point.

In point originated in English around the year 1658, and case in point came a little later, in the 1700s. Another related idiom is in point of fact.

A common error is to structure this phrase case and point. The correct formulation is case in point.

Examples of Case in Point

Two friends are discussing whether or not sequels are ever as good as the first film.

Kira: I totally disagree. Sequels are almost always terrible, and they are never better than the original film.

Dan: That’s not true. Case in point: The Godfather, Part 2.

Kira: I’ve never seen it, so that doesn’t count.

Dan: Then we’ll watch it together.

The following example involves two women talking about whether or not athletes should enter other fields such as acting or politics.

case in point or case and point meaningGertrude: I just don’t think that athletes make good actors. And they should definitely stay out of politics!

Ruby: But sometimes they can be very popular in those fields.

Gertrude: Like who? Give me one example.

Ruby: A case in point is Arnold Schwarzenegger. He was a bodybuilder, then a very popular actor, and then a governor.

More Examples

This excerpt is about a political advisor who used a term that many people avoid. This is because many people use this term when making hate speech about Jewish people.

Subtlety is not Steve Bannon’s strong suit.

  • Case in point, the senior adviser to President Donald Trump, who rarely speaks publicly, decided this would be a good week to use a term known as an anti-Semitic dog whistle. –Chicago Tribune

This example is from an article about an actress. After saying that she makes all movies better, the author gives an example to prove his point.

  • Carla Gugino is an actress who makes everything she’s in better. The latest case in point: “Wolves,” a coming-of-age movie out on Friday in which she plays a New York City wife and mom. –New York Daily News


Case in point is an example that illustrates a point or proves or supports an argument.