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adjective ca·su·al \ˈkazh-wəl, ˈka-zhə-wəl, ˈka-zhəl\

Simple Definition of casual

  • : happening by chance : not planned or expected

  • : designed for or permitting ordinary dress, behavior, etc. : not formal

  • : done without much thought, effort, or concern

Full Definition of casual

  1. 1 :  subject to, resulting from, or occurring by chance <a casual meeting>

  2. 2 a :  occurring without regularity :  occasional <casual employment> b :  employed for irregular periods <a casual worker> c :  met with on occasion and known only superficially <a casual friend>

  3. 3 a (1) :  feeling or showing little concern :  nonchalant <a casual approach to cooking> (2) :  lacking a high degree of interest or devotion <casual sports fans> <casual readers> (3) :  done without serious intent or commitment <casual sex> b (1) :  informal, natural <a casual conversation> (2) :  designed for informal use <casual clothing>

ca·su·al·ly adverb
ca·su·al·ness noun

Examples of casual

  1. a casual encounter on the sidewalk

  2. The atmosphere at the meeting was quite casual.

  3. He made a casual remark about her shoes.

  4. He's a casual sports fan.

Origin of casual

Middle English, from Anglo-French & Late Latin; Anglo-French casuel, from Late Latin casualis, from Latin casus fall, chance — more at case

First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of casual

accidental, fortuitous, casual, contingent mean not amenable to planning or prediction. accidental stresses chance <any resemblance to actual persons is entirely accidental>. fortuitous so strongly suggests chance that it often connotes entire absence of cause <a series of fortuitous events>. casual stresses lack of real or apparent premeditation or intent <a casual encounter with a stranger>. contingent suggests possibility of happening but stresses uncertainty and dependence on other future events for existence or occurrence <the contingent effects of the proposed law>.

random, haphazard, casual mean determined by accident rather than design. random stresses lack of definite aim, fixed goal, or regular procedure <a random selection of books>. haphazard applies to what is done without regard for regularity or fitness or ultimate consequence <a haphazard collection of rocks>. casual suggests working or acting without deliberation, intention, or purpose <a casual collector>.



noun ca·su·al

Definition of casual

  1. 1 :  a casual or migratory worker

  2. 2 :  an officer or enlisted person awaiting assignment or transportation to a unit

Circa 1852

First Known Use of casual

circa 1852

Seen and Heard

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February 7, 2016

a slight offense

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