casual

1 of 2

adjective

ca·​su·​al ˈkazh-wəl How to pronounce casual (audio)
ˈka-zhə-wəl,
ˈka-zhəl
1
: subject to, resulting from, or occurring by chance
a casual meeting
2
a
: 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
3
a(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]
casually adverb
casualness noun

casual

2 of 2

noun

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
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

Example Sentences

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
But Boulibar, the slightly more upscale off-shoot of casual California restaurant and bakery Boulettes Larder, offers a refreshingly chill spot to rest your knees. Soleil Ho, San Francisco Chronicle, 17 Nov. 2022 Albeit a more casual outerwear style, fabric choice can completely transform a bomber jacket. Jessie Quinn, Peoplemag, 14 Nov. 2022 Since 2008, this casual restaurant chain has served nearly 11 million free meals to veterans. Joey Morona, cleveland, 9 Nov. 2022 Pair the Sherpa Full Zip with joggers, a beanie, and blundstones for a cool, casual look, or just throw it over your ski pants right off the mountain. Kelly Klein, Outside Online, 18 Oct. 2022 Givenchy sent out pairs in tweed, pastels, and cropped lengths, while Stella McCartney suggested elegant workwear alternatives to the casual style. Irina Grechko, refinery29.com, 13 Oct. 2022 The human rights lawyer was photographed wearing a lovely casual look that was perfect for the current transition between summer and fall. Quinci Legardye, Harper's BAZAAR, 25 Sep. 2022 Handmade in Italy, the Patnoflex Travel is a luxurious leather loafer built for casual, comfortable style. Kevin Cortez, Popular Mechanics, 20 Sep. 2022 The deep seats pair with the casual style and plush cushions, making this the best sectional on our list for lounging, too. Kristina Mcguirk, Better Homes & Gardens, 20 Sep. 2022
Noun
The fast-casual is owned by Bill and Raeda Houraney and their four college-age kids, who also work at the restaurant. Phillip Valys, Sun Sentinel, 25 Nov. 2022 His first men’s and women’s collection for Bally shone with a glossy mix of Tom Ford-era Gucci and Capri casual. Rory Satran, WSJ, 26 Sep. 2022 No matter the medium, Cohn creates a casual – albeit well researched and prepped – conversation for sports fans. Erica L. Ayala, Forbes, 19 July 2022 Pitt's take on summer casual included a slouchy linen suit in a peachy-keen color. Amanda Taylor, PEOPLE.com, 17 July 2022 But even in Napa, Ms. Pelosi, who doesn’t seem to do California casual, is often seen in the fitted suits that are her Capitol Hill signature. New York Times, 22 June 2022 And her most recent addition to her long list of on-point fashion risks is a hot take on what business casual may look like if WFH continues. Abby Dupes, Seventeen, 7 June 2022 There’s also room to put together new rides that place more emphasis on the casual. Eben Weiss, Outside Online, 2 June 2022 Eliot Ness for his unimpeachability, Frank Serpico for his willingness to take on crooked cops, and the television detective Columbo for his casual, sometimes disheveled demeanor that put witnesses at ease and threw adversaries off their game. New York Times, 25 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

Middle English, from Anglo-French & Late Latin; Anglo-French casuel, from Late Latin casualis, from Latin casus fall, chance — more at case

First Known Use

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

circa 1852, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of casual was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near casual

Cite this Entry

“Casual.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/casual. Accessed 4 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

casual

adjective

ca·​su·​al
ˈkazh-(ə-)wəl,
ˈkazh-əl
1
: happening unexpectedly or by chance : not planned or foreseen
a casual meeting
2
: happening without regularity : occasional
casual employment
3
a
: feeling or showing little concern : nonchalant
a casual approach to cooking
b
: designed for ordinary or informal use
casual clothes
casually
adverb
casualness noun

Legal Definition

casual

adjective

ca·​su·​al
1
a
: not expected or foreseen
b
: not done purposefully : accidental
2
a
: 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

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