basket case

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Also found in: Dictionary, Idioms.
Slang for a patient with a dread disease or terminal illness; it now usually refers to one with a hopeless psychological condition, but was first used to refer to physical injuries, specifically as a macbre term quadruple amputees during World War I

basket case

Train wreck Vox populi A derogatory term for a Pt with a dread disease or a terminal illness; a person to be pitied
References in periodicals archive ?
Roger King says: "We are not talking about throwing money at basket cases as economic commentators would have us believe.
Perhaps this overcaution results from Albania's reputation as one of the Soviet empire's economic basket cases.
Because our hotels, restaurants and tour operators do pay taxes which Berlin then can hand to Athens, Lisbon, Rome and all those other basket cases.
It didn't all work, and the well-known basket cases are now in front of us.
Germany bails out the basket cases of Europe yet gets no thanks.
These virulent, gun-toting basket cases are a disastrous side effect of the freedom our country proudly embraces, but if we succumb to paralyzing fear and ineffectually alter our lives to avoid perceived dangers, we've lost our freedom anyway.