casualty

noun
ca·​su·​al·​ty | \ ˈka-zhəl-tē , ˈkazh-wəl-, ˈka-zhə-wəl-\
plural casualties

Definition of casualty

1a : 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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for casualty

Synonyms

fatality, loss, prey, victim

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of casualty in a Sentence

a low number of casualties the real casualties in the war against drugs are millions of innocent children

Recent Examples on the Web

Droughts and water restrictions are a common occurrence, and lawns were always the casualty. Sienna Fantozzi, House Beautiful, "8 Signs You Grew Up In A California House," 19 July 2018 Among the first casualties of President Trump’s trade war with China: German cars and American steak. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: Today’s daily deal: Groupon wants to sell itself," 9 July 2018 Presentations will teach what to do during a mass-casualty incident and how to deal with its aftermath. Laura Groch, sandiegouniontribune.com, "North County Business Briefs, June 14," 14 June 2018 With changes to Travelers Insurance for the county’s property and casualty insurance and to Caitlin Morgan for its workman’s compensation, consultants with General Insurance Services said the county would reap more than $280,000 in savings. Amy Lavalley, Post-Tribune, "Porter County insurance savings reach $280K," 17 Apr. 2018 In April 2015, the American College of Surgeons Hartford Consensus meeting focused on our nation’s threat from intentional mass-casualty events, and how to implement strategies for effective bleeding control. Jeffrey Kalish, STAT, "A surgeon’s advice to his teenage daughter: ‘Sweetheart, don’t forget your tourniquet’," 16 Apr. 2018 This is the Trump model on trade: Tear it down, accept the inevitable casualties, and hope for the best with whatever comes next. Daniel Henninger, WSJ, "Gridlock Is the New Normal," 16 Jan. 2019 About 67 million soldiers were mobilized by the Allied and Central powers, resulting in 37.4 million casualties, including 8.5 million dead. Chuck Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "What You Need To Know Before Watching "They Shall Not Grow Old"," 28 Dec. 2018 The Democratic House Speaker Jim Wright was a casualty (replaced by Washington’s Tom Foley), partly because of his closeness to the industry. Jon Talton, The Seattle Times, "‘It’s the economy, stupid,’ and the bad luck of George H.W. Bush," 4 Dec. 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of casualty

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for casualty

see casual entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about casualty

Statistics for casualty

Last Updated

9 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for casualty

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for casualty

casualty

noun

English Language Learners Definition of casualty

: a person who is hurt or killed during an accident, war, etc.
: a person or thing that is harmed, lost, or destroyed

casualty

noun
ca·​su·​al·​ty | \ ˈka-zhəl-tē \
plural casualties

Kids Definition of casualty

1 : a person who is hurt or killed in a war, disaster, or accident
2 : a person or thing injured, lost, or destroyed The old tree was a casualty of the storm.

casualty

noun
ca·​su·​al·​ty | \ ˈkazh-əl-tē, ˈkazh-(ə-)wəl- \
plural casualties

Medical Definition of casualty

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
3a : injury or death from accident
b : one injured or killed (as by accident)

Keep scrolling for more

casualty

noun
ca·​su·​al·​ty | \ ˈka-zhəl-tē, ˈka-zhə-wəl- \
plural casualties

Legal Definition of casualty

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on casualty

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for casualty

Spanish Central: Translation of casualty

Nglish: Translation of casualty for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of casualty for Arabic Speakers

Comments on casualty

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to deny responsibility for

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!