ca·​su·​al | \ ˈkazh-wəl How to pronounce casual (audio) , ˈka-zhə-wəl, ˈka-zhəl \

Definition of casual

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : subject to, resulting from, or occurring by chance a casual meeting
2a : 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
3a(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
(3) : allowing for the wearing of informal clothes … I had my wedding skirt (yep, skirt—it was a casual wedding) …— Rory Evans casual Fridays [=Fridays when employees (as in an office) are allowed to wear casual clothing]



Definition of casual (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a casual (see casual entry 1 sense 2b) or migratory worker
2 : an officer or enlisted person awaiting assignment or transportation to a unit

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Other Words from casual


casually adverb
casualness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for casual

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of casual in a Sentence

Adjective a casual encounter on the sidewalk The atmosphere at the meeting was quite casual. He made a casual remark about her shoes. He's a casual sports fan.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective But Huss' uptown Phoenix location is a particularly lively and casual place to spend an afternoon. Tirion Morris, azcentral, "The ultimate beer-lover's guide to bars, breweries and taprooms in Phoenix," 18 Feb. 2020 And there wasn’t much for a casual or even semi-serious chess player to enjoy. NBC News, "Fast-and-loose culture of esports is upending once staid world of chess," 17 Feb. 2020 But the connection is more than logistical: The exhibit argues that ballet has had a major influence on fashion both high-end and casual, starting in the early 20th century and up to the present time. Washington Post, "New exhibit examines ballet’s lasting influence on fashion," 14 Feb. 2020 The simple and casual look — long hair with an orange beanie and no makeup — is fitting of her character, a low-key street hustler who steals every scene. Christina Dun,, "I Got Transformed Into Awkwafina — & This Is What I Looked Like," 10 Feb. 2020 The Porch Cafe offers a charming ambience serving fine and casual cuisine overlooking an unmatched setting. Houston Chronicle, "Beachtown offers walkable, timeless community in Galveston," 8 Feb. 2020 The four-year-old is dressed in a tutu and plastic high heels, and the sound of her casual, high-pitched banter causes my heart to squeeze. Allison Pataki, Glamour, "Being ‘Selfish’ Makes Me a Better Mom," 5 Feb. 2020 After the fourth quarter comes to a close and the clock reads triple zeros, the fans, casual and devoted alike, will turn off their televisions or change the channel. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "There’s Nothing More American Than Native Mascots," 29 Jan. 2020 Dining has gone more casual and communal, and so must our approach. Erin Booke, Dallas News, "Food matters here: Why we’re searching for a new Dallas Restaurant Critic," 24 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun On a recent afternoon, young professionals in microclimate business-casual ambled through the park. Anna Wiener, The New Yorker, "The Floating Utopia of Salesforce Park," 11 Dec. 2019 Instead, the focus is about casual walks and bike rides along Temple Avenue, stopping for snacks and photo ops along the way. 4. Wire Service, The Mercury News, "Bay Area neighborhood is nation’s sixth ‘coolest’ on new list," 18 Sep. 2019 Saison’s laissez-faire dress policy, to me, was a call for my default San Francisco black male uniform: business casual. Justin Phillips,, "Wear this, not this: The unspoken dress code for African Americans," 12 Sep. 2019 So, as Thee Stallion suggests, dress business casual at least twice a week. Bianca Nieves, Teen Vogue, "Your Guide to Having A Hot Girl Semester," 28 Aug. 2019 Alex Loznak, 22, a senior at Columbia University, is dressed business casual for an internship interview. Julia Felsenthal, Vogue, "Do Americans Have a Constitutional Right to a Livable Planet? Meet the 21 Young People Who Say They Do," 21 Mar. 2019 Everyone is dressed a couples notches above your standard Seattle Sunday casual here. Jenna Scatena, Condé Nast Traveler, "10 Best Brunch & Breakfast Places in Seattle," 21 May 2018 Even as fast casual continues to grow in popularity, the number of outlets still account for a tiny fraction of the overall industry — about 4 percent. Lori Weisberg,, "Fast casual chains — think Panera, Chipotle — show no signs of fading," 4 July 2018 He was built like a wrestler and dressed in business casual: a sky-blue polo shirt, gray slacks and round tortoiseshell glasses. Vanessa Grigoriadis, New York Times, "The ‘Sex Cult’ That Preached Empowerment," 30 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'casual.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of casual


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


circa 1852, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for casual


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

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Time Traveler for casual

Time Traveler

The first known use of casual was in the 14th century

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Statistics for casual

Last Updated

21 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Casual.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for casual


How to pronounce casual (audio)

English Language Learners 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


ca·​su·​al | \ ˈkazh-wəl How to pronounce casual (audio) , ˈka-zhə-wəl, ˈka-zhəl \

Kids Definition of casual

1 : happening unexpectedly or by chance : not planned or foreseen a casual meeting
2 : occurring without regularity : occasional casual visits
3 : showing or feeling little concern : nonchalant This is awful! How can you be so casual about it?
4 : meant for informal use Wear casual clothing for the tour.

Other Words from casual

casually adverb



Legal Definition of casual

1a : not expected or foreseen
b : not done purposefully : accidental
2a : employed for irregular periods a casual worker
b : engaging in an activity on an occasional basis a casual seller

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Comments on casual

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