casualty

noun

ca·​su·​al·​ty ˈka-zhəl-tē How to pronounce casualty (audio)
ˈkazh-wəl-,
ˈka-zhə-wəl-
plural casualties
1
a
: a military person lost through death, wounds, injury, sickness, internment, or capture or through being missing in action
The army sustained heavy casualties.
b
: a person or thing injured, lost, or destroyed : victim
the ex-senator was a casualty of the last election
2
: serious or fatal accident : disaster
losses from fire, storm, or other casualty J. S. Seidman
3
archaic : chance, fortune
losses that befall them by mere casualty Sir Walter Raleigh

Example Sentences

a low number of casualties the real casualties in the war against drugs are millions of innocent children
Recent Examples on the Web The stones were crumbling, a casualty of pollution and also the black paint used around the clock dials, which didn’t allow the stonework to breathe. William Booth, BostonGlobe.com, 11 Nov. 2022 Western military analysts have consistently said Russia shows little regard for the lives of its own troops, who have suffered staggering casualty rates along a battlefront extending hundreds of miles from southeastern to northeastern Ukraine. Laura Kingstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 9 Nov. 2022 The Prototype Festival, the pacesetter for contemporary music theatre in New York, postponed its tenth-anniversary season in January, a casualty of the Omicron surge. Oussama Zahr, The New Yorker, 4 Nov. 2022 Uniper, which was Germany’s largest importer of Russian gas before the war, has become a major corporate casualty. Giulia Petroni And Georgi Kantchev, WSJ, 3 Nov. 2022 But Brett Anderson, leader of the London Suede, recalls his own band being something of a casualty of stateside touring in their own early days. Andrew Unterberger, Billboard, 3 Nov. 2022 In a partnership with the National Compassion Fund, a group that provides a way for the public to give directly to victims of mass casualty crimes, the 5/14 Survivors Fund collected donations from more than 13,000 people worldwide. Bill Hutchinson, ABC News, 1 Nov. 2022 Following his father's statement, Prince William also sent sympathies to everyone affected by the tragic mass casualty. Janine Henni, Peoplemag, 31 Oct. 2022 Terrorism, with its potential for mass casualty, could upset Nigeria’s center in more dramatic ways that economic distress. Alexander Onukwue, Quartz, 24 Oct. 2022 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

see casual entry 1

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Time Traveler
The first known use of casualty was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near casualty

Cite this Entry

“Casualty.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/casualty. Accessed 28 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

casualty

noun

ca·​su·​al·​ty ˈkazh-əl-tē How to pronounce casualty (audio)
ˈkazh-(ə-)wəl-
plural casualties
1
: a serious or fatal accident : disaster
2
a
: a military person lost (as by death or capture) during warfare
b
: a person or thing injured, lost, or destroyed

Medical Definition

casualty

noun

ca·​su·​al·​ty ˈkazh-əl-tē, ˈkazh-(ə-)wəl- How to pronounce casualty (audio)
plural casualties
1
: a serious or fatal accident
2
: a military person lost through death, wounds, injury, sickness, internment, or capture or through being missing in action
3
a
: injury or death from accident
b
: one injured or killed (as by accident)

Legal Definition

casualty

noun

ca·​su·​al·​ty ˈka-zhəl-tē, ˈka-zhə-wəl- How to pronounce casualty (audio)
plural casualties
1
: an unfortunate occurrence
especially : a serious and often disastrous accident
conversion of property…arising from fire, storm, shipwreck, or other casualty Internal Revenue Code
2
: something lost, stolen, damaged, or destroyed see also casualty gain at gain, casualty loss at loss

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