ca·su·al | \ ˈkazh-wəl , 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

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


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

The global cashless movement has reached Washington, where a growing number of fast-casual and other establishments are saying no to greenbacks in favor of plastic and mobile payments. Fenit Nirappil, Washington Post, "As restaurants go cashless, a backlash is building. Will D.C. intervene?," 9 July 2018 Image For dessert at Dez, the Middle-Eastern fast-casual restaurant in NoLIta, there’s soft-serve frozen yogurt. Florence Fabricant, New York Times, "Frozen Yogurt With a Twist," 9 July 2018 The Other Side will open at 5090 Folsom Boulevard on July 16 with a fast-casual menu heavy on rotisserie-style chicken and pork running $14-$24. Benjy Egel And Kellen Browning, sacbee, "Countdown begins on Track 7's East Sac launch. Here's when it opens - and what's on the menu," 6 July 2018 Openings Poke It, a new fast-casual eatery offering a Mexican take on poke will host its grand opening in Hillcrest from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday. Carolina Gusman,, "No matter how you Poke It, Hillcrest eatery introduces Mexican spin to Hawaiian fare," 5 July 2018 The new fast-casual spot offers three bowl sizes that can be filled with fresh ingredients at modest prices. Dan White,, "Bowlicious opens Commercial Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale," 2 July 2018 Brigitte Nielsen is pregnant and proud! The 54-year-old actress and model showed off her baby bump on Sunday while enjoying a casual shopping trip with her husband Mattia Dessi in Los Angeles. Maria Pasquini,, "Pregnant Brigitte Nielsen, 54, Shows Off Baby Bump While Getting a Helping Hand from Husband," 11 June 2018 Media: Jason Stab, What was supposed to be a casual fishing trip Sunday morning turned into an impromptu animal science lesson for one Houston man. Fernando Alfonso Iii, Houston Chronicle, "Video shows stingray giving birth after being caught near San Luis Pass," 30 May 2018 Kardashian, 34, and Thompson, 27, kept their looks casual for the night, with the reality star rocking a bomber jacket with grey leggings and heeled booties. Jodi Guglielmi,, "Khloé Kardashian and Tristan Thompson Share Sweet Kiss After Date Night in Malibu," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 The hatch cover was below decks on a crowded transport ship and also was inhabited by some 20 junior officers and casuals, sleeping side by side on makeshift cots. Washington Post, "AP WAS THERE: 75 years ago, reporter lands on Attu Island," 29 May 2018 Of note: Fast casual, metered street parking, cash only. Find it: 2607 N. Milwaukee Ave., 773-697-4234, Ina Pinkney,, "Go-to breakfasts from wood-fired bagels to grilled coffee cake to deli classics," 24 Apr. 2018 The last time the union and PMA held a drawing in the Los Angeles area was in 2004 and many of those casuals are still waiting for a shot at a regular union job. Rachel Uranga, Orange County Register, "Drawing for lucrative L.A. and Long Beach port jobs is back on — for now," 8 Feb. 2017

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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Learn More about casual

Phrases Related to casual

casual observer

Statistics for casual

Last Updated

5 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for casual

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

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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 , 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

What made you want to look up casual? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


alleviating pain or harshness

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