happening by chance; fortuitous: a casual meeting.
without definite or serious intention; careless or offhand; passing: a casual remark.
seeming or tending to be indifferent to what is happening; apathetic; unconcerned: a casual, nonchalant air.
appropriate for wear or use on informal occasions; not dressy: casual clothes; casual wear.
irregular; occasional: a casual visitor.
accidental: a casual mishap.
Obsolete, uncertain.
a worker employed only irregularly.
a soldier temporarily at a station or other place of duty, and usually en route to another station.

1325–75; Middle English < Latin cāsuālis, equivalent to cāsu(s) case1 + -ālis -al1; replacing Middle English casuel < Middle French < Latin as above

casually, adverb
casualness, noun
overcasual, adjective
overcasually, adverb
overcasualness, noun
ultracasual, adjective
ultracasually, adverb
ultracasualness, noun
uncasual, adjective
uncasually, adverb
uncasualness, noun

1. unexpected, fortuitous, unforeseen. See accidental. 5. random.

1. planned. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
casual (ˈkæʒjʊəl)
1.  happening by accident or chance: a casual meeting
2.  offhand; not premeditated: a casual remark
3.  shallow or superficial: a casual affair
4.  being or seeming unconcerned or apathetic: he assumed a casual attitude
5.  (esp of dress) for informal wear: a casual coat
6.  occasional or irregular: casual visits; a casual labourer
7.  biology another term for adventive
8.  (usually plural) an informal article of clothing or footwear
9.  an occasional worker
10.  biology another term for an adventive
11.  (usually plural) a young man dressed in expensive casual clothes who goes to football matches in order to start fights
[C14: from Late Latin cāsuālis happening by chance, from Latin cāsus event, from cadere to fall; see case1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

late 14c., "subject to or produced by chance," from O.Fr. casuel, from L.L. casualis "by chance," from L. casus "chance, event" (see case (1)). Of persons, in the sense of "not to be depended on, unmethodical," it is attested from 1883.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


an essay written in a familiar, often humorous style. The word is usually associated with the style of essay that was cultivated at The New Yorker magazine

Learn more about casual with a free trial on

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
The trend to casual styles developed strength as the fall fur shows continued
  last week.
To a casual observer, a cash shortage is not immediately obvious.
Even the casual visitor can explore this solitude without getting outfitted for
  a backpack expedition.
At some point, perhaps, these measurements will work their way into a sentence
  or casual comment.
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