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 Goodell received plenty of kudos for his hosting of last year's draft in casual wear from his home. Barry Wilner, ajc, "NFL draft: No suspense as 3 QBs dominate early picks," 30 Apr. 2021 Goodell received plenty of kudos for his hosting of last year's draft in casual wear from his home. Barry Wilner, Star Tribune, "NFL draft: No suspense as 3 QBs dominate early picks," 29 Apr. 2021 Customers are spending more on casual wear, accessories, jewelry and watches, analysts say. Esther Fung, WSJ, "Shoppers Return to Malls, With an Urge to Spend," 27 Apr. 2021 Duluth Trading, which is known for its sassy marketing of men's and women's casual wear, workwear and accessories, was founded in 1989. Sarah Hauer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Duluth Trading names former Finish Line exec as new CEO," 27 Apr. 2021 There is also a ban on casual wear, ostensibly to avoid a Sudeikis Situation. Zoe Guy, Marie Claire, "How to Watch the 2021 Oscars," 25 Apr. 2021 While there is no value of the contract reported, Athleta is providing Biles with her own line of performance and casual wear and has pledged to support Biles’ own post-Olympics gymnastics tour. Los Angeles Times, "Olympic champion Simone Biles leaves Nike for Athleta," 23 Apr. 2021 The producers have made a stand against both Zoom and casual wear., "The pandemic has upended the Oscars. Good, producers say," 16 Apr. 2021 Instead, casual wear became the attire of choice for many who have been working from home. Taylor Deville,, "Award-winning luxury men’s clothier J.S. Edwards closing after 38 years in Pikesville," 6 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Democrat is decked out in presidential casual: white dress shirt and charcoal gray slacks, no jacket or tie. Randy Diamond, San Antonio Express-News, "A battered Trump takes refuge in San Antonio wax museum's storage, awaiting return to the limelight," 17 Mar. 2021 Restaurant owners were forced to invest in new systems that streamlined or enhanced their carryout and contactless capabilities, and all types of restaurants from fast-casual to family diners became more efficient as a result. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Here are 7 eating, dining and grocery shopping trends that will stick after the pandemic," 12 Mar. 2021 The fathers are both tall, slim, masked, dressed in mid-thirties-dad casual. Danielle Ofri, The New Yorker, "A Bellevue Doctor’s Pandemic Diary," 1 Oct. 2020 Fancy, fast or gas-station casual, these five S.A. restaurants get pork chops right., "Express Briefing: Trump says he and first lady tested positive for coronavirus," 1 Oct. 2020 Stomping a casual isn’t going to help Clayster and the Empire defeat Atlanta or Florida. Sean Collins, Dallas News, "The Dallas Empire turn to final stretch of the season, so their head coach wants to talk about ... golf," 22 June 2020 Forbes reported that the game mode reached 15 million players within three days, bringing in casuals and the best in the world. Sean Collins, Dallas News, "Dallas Empire’s Clayster, Crimsix won big in Warzone tournament, share thoughts on wildly popular battle royale," 1 Apr. 2020 Fans can watch their favorite traditional sports stars play games, but guys like Jackson and Doncic are but casuals in this field. Sean Collins, Dallas News, "‘In the end it’s entertainment’: With traditional sports on hiatus due to coronavirus, esports is primed to fill the void," 20 Mar. 2020 On occasion, Romano has stepped in to open his own restaurants in Trinity Groves, including a fast-casual called Potato Flats that closed in 2015. Sarah Blaskovich, Dallas News, "3 new restaurants coming to Trinity Groves in West Dallas," 26 Feb. 2020

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

8 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Casual.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for casual



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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