Definition of casualty in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkaʒjʊəlti/

noun (plural casualties)

1A person killed or injured in a war or accident: the shelling caused thousands of civilian casualties
More example sentences
  • And as we get more and faster trains on to the rails we can expect more deaths, so the casualty figures coldly used in cost benefit studies are all going to be out of date anyway.
  • Road casualty figures for 2003 show that serious accidents fell by 15 to 82 compared to the previous year.
  • Center court was now a mass casualty scene, with injured personnel streaming out of Corridors 3 and 4 and wounded lying everywhere.
victim, fatality, mortality;
loss, MIA;
(casualties) dead and injured/wounded, missing in action, missing
1.1A person or thing badly affected by an event or situation: the building industry has been one of the casualties of the recession
More example sentences
  • A big, bald-headed dude was passed out on the bunk above, an early casualty of beer and Valium.
  • She was an early casualty of what is now being seen as a wasted generation.
  • Civil liberties are always early and intended casualties of wars - both actual or metaphoric.
victim, sufferer, loser, loss
1.2British The casualty department of a hospital: he went to casualty to have a cut stitched
More example sentences
  • She was taken by ambulance to casualty at Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford, after she lost consciousness at home at about 7pm.
  • In the second case, a music teacher had to go to casualty in two separate hospitals on Christmas Day and Boxing Day 1993 after developing problems with his dressing.
  • The crackdown on long waits has been dogged by allegations that ambulance staff are deliberately delaying taking patients into casualty until the hospital is ready for them.
1.3(Chiefly in insurance) an accident or disaster: the Insurers acquire all the Policyholder’s rights in respect of the casualty which caused the loss
More example sentences
  • The term ‘perils of the sea’ refers only to fortuitous accidents or casualties of the seas.
  • Examples are: health problems, unemployment, damage to the home due to a casualty or disaster, and other reasons.
  • It is hardly surprising in those circumstances that the House of Lords held that the shipowning company could not say that the casualty had occurred without its actual fault and privity.


Late Middle English (in the sense 'chance, a chance occurrence'): from medieval Latin casualitas, from casualis (see casual), on the pattern of words such as penalty.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: cas|ualty

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