ca·​su·​al·​ty | \ ˈka-zhəl-tē How to pronounce casualty (audio) , 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

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Synonyms for casualty


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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 Starting in 2010, the once-majestic mansion was abandoned, a casualty of the housing crisis and recession. oregonlive, "Showstopper Mount Tabor mansion, once vandalize, is now for sale at $2.5 million," 13 July 2020 The loss of the fair now rivals Austin’s glaring civic casualty, when the coronavirus forced the 2020 cancellation of the internationally popular South by Southwest. Michael Granberry, Dallas News, "The State Fair of Texas is officially canceled," 7 July 2020 One temporary casualty of the pandemic is First Friday, the downtown festival of food, music and street vendors that usually enlivens the summer months in Gadsden. William Thornton |, al, "‘One surprise after another’: How one Alabama city’s economy is adapting to coronavirus," 5 July 2020 One casualty will be the nearby city of Jeddah, where most pilgrims arrive to begin their pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia. Erin Blakemore, National Geographic, "Millions barred from 2020 hajj pilgrimage to Mecca due to pandemic," 23 June 2020 The latest casualty: Logan, a 16-year-old fixture of Ann Arbor's dining scene. Mark Kurlyandchik, Detroit Free Press, "Logan, a 16-year-fixture of Ann Arbor's dining scene, is closing permanently," 12 June 2020 The Pacific-12 Conference has eliminated non-league football games for the upcoming season, marking the latest sports casualty of the raging coronavirus pandemic. NBC News, "Pacific-12 Conference cuts non-league games this fall in latest coronavirus setback for sports," 11 July 2020 An unexpected outgrowth of the COVID-19 epidemic is that mental health resources for former combat troops, active-duty troops and their families have been a casualty of quarantine. Jennifer Griffin | Fox News, Fox News, "Army's 'Captain America' dies by suicide after nearly a dozen combat tours," 11 July 2020 The chain is seeking bankruptcy protection, the latest retail casualty of the coronavirus pandemic. Staff And Wire Reports, oregonlive, "Sur La Table will close 2 of 3 stores in Oregon," 10 July 2020

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.

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First Known Use of casualty

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for casualty

see casual entry 1

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Time Traveler for casualty

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for casualty

Last Updated

1 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Casualty.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for casualty


How to pronounce casualty (audio)

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


ca·​su·​al·​ty | \ ˈka-zhəl-tē How to pronounce casualty (audio) \
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.


ca·​su·​al·​ty | \ ˈkazh-əl-tē, ˈkazh-(ə-)wəl- How to pronounce casualty (audio) \
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)

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ca·​su·​al·​ty | \ ˈka-zhəl-tē, ˈka-zhə-wəl- How to pronounce casualty (audio) \
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 casualtyInternal Revenue Code
2 : something lost, stolen, damaged, or destroyed — see also casualty gain at gain, casualty loss at loss

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