nounThe American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition Copyright © 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
- Law An action or cause that falls under the jurisdiction of a federal court.
- Informal A major issue that has evolved from a minor problem: made a federal case out of our tardiness.