Definition of casuist in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkazjʊɪst/
Pronunciation: /ˈkaʒjʊɪst/


1A person who uses clever but unsound reasoning, especially in relation to moral questions; a sophist.
Example sentences
  • My impression of him as a witness was that he was an inveterate casuist to say the least, and at times I was in wholehearted agreement with the claimant's representative's suggestions during cross examination that he was a stranger to the truth.
  • He is a first-class rationalizer, a casuist of rare accomplishment, and a truly gifted procrastinator.
2A person who resolves moral problems by the application of theoretical rules.
Example sentences
  • Yes, I don't totally think of myself as a casuist because those are people who are working with given rules, if you like.
  • This moral dilemma, again, is addressed specifically by the casuists.
  • The ‘caso’ of whether to inform the king when a family member has committed a crime is one that the Spanish casuists addressed specifically in the confessors' manuals.



Pronunciation: /kazjʊˈɪstɪk/
Pronunciation: /kaʒjʊˈɪstɪk/
Example sentences
  • This is pretty legalistic reasoning, which many people may - rightly or wrongly - consider casuistic to the point of silliness.
  • She thus tries to cover herself with a casuistic distinction that breaks down the moment you try to analyse what she means.
  • The students seem drawn to its clarity and concreteness, and there is no shortage of casuistic questions concerning its intricacies.


Pronunciation: /kazjʊˈɪstɪk(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • But at least they would have been compelled to test their casuistical skills.
  • You can adduce further cases, I'm sure, of scenes in novels that fit a casuistical model, in which characters convince themselves that their behavior does conform to their obligations or, if not, that it deviates in a principled fashion.
  • Eastern Orthodox bioethics is distinct from that of traditional Roman Catholicism in that medical morality is not governed by the casuistical application of a natural law known by all through discursive reason.


Pronunciation: /kazjʊˈɪstɪk(ə)li/
Example sentences
  • When Narciso sees her and starts running away yet again, she rationalizes casuistically in her monologue that deception is permissible if it helps her win his love ‘even just once.’


Early 17th century: from French casuiste, from Spanish casuista, from Latin casus (see case1).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: casu|ist

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