a. Being without ceremony or formality; relaxed or informal: a casual evening with friends.
b. Unpremeditated or offhand: a casual remark.
c. Suited for everyday wear or informal use: casual clothing.
2. Not serious or thorough; superficial: a casual inspection; a casual understanding of French.
3. Showing little interest or concern; nonchalant: "speaks with casual aplomb about being shot at" (Janelle Brown).
4. Occurring or being such by chance: "in the first months when I was pregnant, before it was obvious to the casual observer" (Anne Roiphe). See Synonyms at chance.
a. Occurring at irregular or infrequent intervals; occasional: casual employment at a factory; a casual correspondence with a former teacher.
b. Employed on an irregular basis: casual workers.
a. Socialized with only occasionally; not close or intimate: a casual acquaintance.
b. Being or occurring between sexual partners who are not in an established relationship: casual lovers; casual sex.
1. One that serves or appears at irregular intervals, especially a temporary worker.
2. casuals Casualwear: sent my casuals to the cleaners.
3. A soldier temporarily attached to a unit while awaiting permanent assignment.
[Middle English casuel, due to chance, unpredictable, from Old French, from Latin cāsuālis, from cāsus, event; see CASE1.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.