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 Scott, who is serving his second term on the Ascension Parish School Board, specializes in early learning centers property and casualty insurance needs., "New Orleans, Baton Rouge area People in Business for Dec. 20, 2020," 20 Dec. 2020 Premiums for commercial property and casualty insurance increased by an average of almost 11% in the second quarter of 2020, according to the Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers. Jamie Goldberg, oregonlive, "Insurers balk at covering Portland businesses; brokers say downtown upheaval has made carriers wary," 12 Dec. 2020 Swiss insurer Zurich Insurance Group AG will acquire the company’s U.S. property-and-casualty insurance business for $3.94 billion, the companies said Friday. Francesca Fontana, WSJ, "DoorDash, Facebook, Walt Disney: Stocks That Defined the Week," 12 Dec. 2020 Each company serves clients in the core service areas of employee benefits and health insurance, risk management, commercial property and casualty insurance, personal and life insurance, and retirement plan services. Lorraine Mirabella,, "Towson-based RCM&D will merge with Cleveland firm to create one of nation’s largest independent insurance brokerage firms," 8 Dec. 2020 The White Elephant, a place woven into many childhoods across eastern Washington State, was a casualty of 2020. New York Times, "The Treasured Diners and Hidden Haunts That Covid-19 Closed for Good," 27 Dec. 2020 The interior minister added that the casualty toll could rise further. NBC News, "At least 9 dead as car bomb rocks Afghanistan's capital, Kabul," 20 Dec. 2020 History, even very recent history, is a casualty of our accelerated age. Meghan O'gieblyn, Wired, "Hello, World! It Is ‘I,’ the Internet," 10 Dec. 2020 The custom of writing letters to Santa will not be a casualty of 2020 in Clarksville. Susan Soldavin,, "Modified for coronavirus pandemic, Girl Scout cookie time arrives in Howard County | Clarksville," 20 Nov. 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

22 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Casualty.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

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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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Comments on casualty

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