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Meaning of basket case

bas'ket case"

Pronunciation: [key]
— Slang. Slang.
  1. (offensive) a person who has had all four limbs amputated.
  2. a person who is helpless or incapable of functioning normally, esp. due to overwhelming stress, anxiety, or the like.
  3. anything that is impaired or incapable of functioning: Right after the war the conquered nation was considered an economic basket case.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.