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 Alternate telecasts with coaches breaking down plays or using advanced statistics are less likely to attract a casual fan. New York Times, 20 Sep. 2021 The country-soul singer Yola had been a casual fan of Riperton for years. Julyssa Lopez, Rolling Stone, 16 Sep. 2021 The casual fan could be forgiven for struggling to keep track of the geometry book’s worth of characters and symbols used to designate the various series and classes of sports car racing across the United States and around the world. Dave Kallmann, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 26 Aug. 2021 There is a vocal faction of fans that treat Tate and Violet as some sort of modern-day Romeo and Juliet — exactly the sort of thing a casual fan like Michelle would have picked up on and included. Andrea Reiher, Variety, 19 Aug. 2021 Two years ago, Alex Palou was relatively unknown to the casual IndyCar fan, and after with year with Coyne, he was scooped up by Chip Ganassi Racing and currently leads the points race. Nathan Brown, The Indianapolis Star, 14 Aug. 2021 As smooth, even casual, as Tatis has looked in his three days of chasing down fly balls, there are a number of things to learn. San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Aug. 2021 In her first medal event of the Tokyo Olympics, Katie Ledecky did not win, and the natural reaction from a casual fan to Ledecky finishing anywhere other than in first place might be surprise, or disappointment. Star Tribune, 26 July 2021 But White also highlights the crucial mental component to being a lineman — particularly on the offensive side of the ball — that often goes unappreciated by the casual fan. Jonathan Saxon, The Courier-Journal, 23 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Despite emerging from the shores of Surf City USA in Huntington Beach, California, in 2007, TravisMathew is finding success in its niche as lifestyle performance by bridging the gap between performance and casual. Michael Loré, Forbes, 21 Sep. 2021 Drake’s, San Carlos San Carlos has a new casual, all-day restaurant in Drake’s. Elena Kadvany, San Francisco Chronicle, 3 Sep. 2021 The second batch of images ranged from the formal, to the casual, to the intimate. Elise Taylor, Vogue, 30 June 2021 The Bulldogs appeared to unravel for good in the seventh when center fielder Rowdey Jordan lost sight of Faltine’s fly ball, allowing a casual out to become a leadoff double. Nick Moyle, San Antonio Express-News, 26 June 2021 Even Dockers, which helped spawn the concept of business casual, is adding more stretch to its classic chinos. Wsj Noted., WSJ, 7 June 2021 Thanks to The Row’s classic designer belt worn here by Kendall Jenner, business casual has never looked better. Alexis Bennett, Vogue, 7 June 2021 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, 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, 12 Mar. 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near casual



casual ejector

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Statistics for casual

Last Updated

23 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Casual.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Oct. 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

More from Merriam-Webster on casual

Nglish: Translation of casual for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of casual for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about casual


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