Definition of casual in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkaʒjʊəl/


1Relaxed and unconcerned: a casual attitude to life
More example sentences
  • Even then, the British experts have been amazed by the casual attitude taken towards such a dangerous substance.
  • Behind his casual attitude lies the strict discipline a teacher asks of a pupil.
  • Other countries don't share this casual attitude.
relaxed, friendly, natural, informal, unceremonious, unpretentious, easy-going, free and easy, uninhibited, open
informal laid-back
1.1Made or done without much thought or premeditation: a casual remark
More example sentences
  • One cannot dismiss it as a casual remark from a man who spent two decades in this field of management.
  • She was later shattered to learn from a casual remark at a lunch party of his death at Gallipoli.
  • I do recall that a casual remark was made to the effect that my nose was similar to that of the deceased woman but had placed no particular significance on this.
offhand, random, impromptu, spontaneous, unpremeditated, unthinking, unstudied, unconsidered, parenthetical, passing, throwaway, trivial;
ill-considered, ill-judged, unguarded
informal off-the-cuff
1.2Done or acting in a desultory way: to the casual observer, rugby looks something like football
More example sentences
  • The casual observer may be unable to tell them apart.
  • And to even the most casual observer, the conference delegates are clearly very well behaved and polite.
  • They just sat there like a couple of casual observers with no vested interest.
cursory, perfunctory, superficial, passing, fleeting, summary, desultory, careless;
hasty, hurried, rushed, brief, quick
1.3Done or acting without sufficient care or thoroughness: the casual way in which victims were treated
More example sentences
  • It's this built-in food supply that makes these types of plants more forgiving of casual care and attention.
  • I would be filled with rage at this casual disregard of my only child's suffering, if it weren't for the fact that it was pretty darn hilarious.
  • The best it seems to me that you can put against Andar is that there was a casual act of negligence on the part of its employee in not inspecting this particular trolley.
indifferent, apathetic, uncaring, uninterested, unconcerned;
lackadaisical, blasé, nonchalant, lukewarm, insouciant, offhand, hit-or-miss;
easy-going, free and easy, airy, breezy, blithe, carefree;
flippant, lax, slack, irresponsible, devil-may-care
informal couldn't-care-less, laid-back
rare pococurante
2Not regular or permanent, in particular:
2.1Employed or established on a temporary or irregular basis: a casual worker casual jobs
More example sentences
  • Many of those who found work were employed on a casual basis or in jobs that were ‘markedly poorer in almost all respects’.
  • Sometimes Janet also does odd jobs on a casual basis, ‘But mostly I live on loans,’ she says.
  • The report finds that low paid mothers, many employed in casual or part-time jobs, are the least likely to have access to paid maternity leave.
2.2(Of a sexual relationship or encounter) occurring between people who are not established sexual partners: they don’t do one-night stands or casual flings
More example sentences
  • Participants' sexual relationships were mainly serially monogamous, with some women having sex with casual partners between relationships.
  • I don't think there is a difference between the way you start a casual relationship and the way you start what might be a serious relationship.
  • I've never enjoyed casual relationships and it takes me forever to fall in love.
promiscuous, recreational, extramarital;
liberated, uninhibited, free
informal swinging
3 [attributive] Happening by chance; accidental: he pretended it was a casual meeting
More example sentences
  • This has purely been a casual meeting in the street.
  • I don't want to give the feeling that the choices of imagery are accidental, or casual - that this picture could just as well be another picture.
  • Many of the poem's juxtapositions seem casual or accidental at first, but then turn treacherous.
chance, accidental, random, unintentional, unplanned, unintended, inadvertent, unexpected, unforeseen, unanticipated, unlooked-for, occurring by chance/accident, fortuitous, coincidental, fluky, serendipitous, adventitious, aleatory
4Without formality of style or manner, in particular (of clothing) suitable for everyday wear rather than formal occasions: a casual short-sleeved shirt an ideal coat for casual occasions
More example sentences
  • The Meinton room on the ground floor is a place for speedy Thai, Malaysian and Chinese food, with a casual noodle bar style atmosphere.
  • Cheap drinks, a chatty and casual atmosphere and great meal deals are the main things you would normally associate with a Wetherspoon's pub.
  • The man commands a presence and an element of style not expected or previously delivered in the casual atmosphere of the MMVAs.
informal, not formal, relaxed, comfortable, sloppy, leisure, sportif, everyday;
Military  undress
informal sporty


1A person who does something irregularly: a number of casuals became regular customers
More example sentences
  • These two are not journeymen casuals out to pass the time on a Saturday afternoon.
  • Generally speaking, fishermen can be divided into the casuals and the addicts.
  • Inquiries made by officers about the Skirlington stall have revealed that the traders were casuals who turned up on the day and paid a stall fee.
1.1British A worker employed on an irregular or temporary basis: the business employs eight full-time sales staff and ten casuals
More example sentences
  • Cairns - an important tourism gateway - has only one fulltime airport and employs 11 casuals and 8 part-time workers.
  • At present, childcare workers are employed as casuals.
  • Thousands of young retail workers, for example, continue to work as casuals, employed as little as 16 hours a week, frequently spread over broken shifts.
temporary worker, part-timer, freelance, freelancer
informal temp
1.2 historical A person admitted to a workhouse for a short period.
Example sentences
  • The ruffian casual laughs at him, and sings funny and oftentimes libellous songs concerning him as he breaks stones or picks oakum.
  • Vagrants, tramps and casuals were strictly separated from the resident pauper inmates housed in the gothic splendour of the Main Workhouse.
  • Farm buildings were cleared out of muck and little piles were stacked in rows in the field to dry and then the casuals would spread it on the land.
2 (casuals) British Clothes or shoes suitable for everyday wear rather than formal occasions: she designs women’s casuals
More example sentences
  • From night gowns to casuals, she could find them all.
  • Wearing casuals, they might have been taken for weekenders, just come from the city for a stroll on the beach in the pleasant weather, except that the officers had seen them on the boats.
  • When I came back down, I actually met the guy, and he looked me up and down in that disapproving look, because I was just wearing casuals.
3British A youth belonging to a subculture characterized by the wearing of expensive casual clothing and frequently associated with football hooliganism.
Example sentences
  • Up to 70 Motherwell football casuals took to the streets of Dundee yesterday, vandalising cars and attacking passers by.
  • He has resurrected a subject that should have been put to bed in the Nineties, when the world of football casuals was on the wane.
  • Back in the Eighties, you were either a mod, a long-haired rocker or a football casual and if you were a particularly awkward teenager you were a goth.



Pronunciation: /ˈkazjʊəlnəs/
Example sentences
  • But when he moved up to the top level, international level, these moments of casualness were punished.
  • ‘There's a casualness and trust about the lifestyle that you can't get in the city,’ Mr Neilson says.
  • My utter casualness about the situation has been surprising.


Late Middle English (in sense 2 of the adjective, sense 3 of the adjective): from Old French casuel and Latin casualis, from casus 'fall' (compare with case1).

  • case from Middle English:

    Case ‘an instance’ is something that happens or befalls, coming via French from Latin casus ‘a fall’, also the source of casual (Late Middle English). The case meaning ‘container’ is from Old French casse, the modern forms of which is caisse ‘trunk, chest’, based on Latin capsa, related to capere ‘to hold’ ( see capable). Latin capsa is also the base of late Middle English capsule, a general term at first for ‘a small container’, and cash (late 16th century) originally meaning ‘money-box’. The same base gave rise to late Middle English casement, which was first recorded as an architectural term for a hollow moulding.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: cas¦ual

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