Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Occurring by chance. See Synonyms at chance.
  • adj. Occurring at irregular or infrequent intervals; occasional: casual employment at a factory; a casual correspondence with a former teacher.
  • adj. Unpremeditated; offhand: a casual remark.
  • adj. Being without ceremony or formality; relaxed: a casual evening with friends.
  • adj. Suited for everyday wear or use; informal.
  • adj. Not serious or thorough; superficial: a casual inspection.
  • adj. Showing little interest or concern; nonchalant: a casual disregard for cold weather.
  • adj. Lenient; permissive: a casual attitude toward drugs.
  • adj. Not close or intimate; passing: a casual acquaintance with avant-garde music.
  • n. One that serves or appears at irregular intervals, especially a temporary worker.
  • n. Casualwear: sent my casuals to the cleaners.
  • n. A soldier temporarily attached to a unit while awaiting permanent assignment.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Happening by chance.
  • adj. Coming without regularity; occasional or incidental.
  • adj. Employed irregularly
  • adj. Careless.
  • adj. Happening or coming to pass without design.
  • adj. Informal, relaxed.
  • adj. Designed for informal use.
  • n. A worker who is only working for a company occasionally, not as its permanent employee.
  • n. A soldier temporarily at a place of duty, usually en route to another place of duty.
  • n. A member of a group of football hooligans who wear expensive designer clothing to avoid police attention; see Casual (subculture).
  • n. One who receives relief for a night in a parish to which he does not belong; a vagrant.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Happening or coming to pass without design, and without being foreseen or expected; accidental; fortuitous; coming by chance.
  • adj. Coming without regularity; occasional; incidental.
  • n. One who receives relief for a night in a parish to which he does not belong; a vagrant.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Happening or coming to pass without (apparent) cause, without design on the part of the agent, in an unaccountable manner, or as a mere coincidence or accident; coming by chance; accidental; fortuitous; indeterminate: as, a casual encounter.
  • Occasional; coming at uncertain times, or without regularity, in distinction from stated or regular; incidental: as, casual expenses.
  • n. A person who receives relief and shelter for one night at the most in a workhouse or police-station, or who receives treatment in a hospital for an accidental injury.
  • n. A laborer or an artisan employed only irregularly.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. occurring or appearing or singled out by chance
  • adj. natural and unstudied
  • adj. hasty and without attention to detail; not thorough
  • adj. not showing effort or strain
  • adj. characterized by a feeling of irresponsibility
  • adj. occurring from time to time
  • adj. without or seeming to be without plan or method; offhand
  • adj. appropriate for ordinary or routine occasions
  • adj. marked by blithe unconcern

Etymologies

Middle English casuel, from Old French, from Latin cāsuālis, from cāsus, event; see case1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
(14th century) from Late Latin cāsuālis ("happening by chance"), from Latin cāsus ("event"), from cadere ("to fall"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • In a way, I think the issue here is that there are two very different senses of the term casual that we could think about with the MMOG marketplace.

    MMOGs and Mulligans

  • More pertinently, I'm deeply dubious about the word "casual" when it comes to relationships of the heart.

    Dear Mariella: I want children but my boyfriend doesn't. We have a great relationship, but is there any future for us?

  • They've really just been having what they describe as casual conversations with him.

    CNN Transcript Aug 18, 2006

  • After going through what she referred to as a casual psychological interview and weeks of daily injections of hormones (similar to the hormones her own body produces, but at much higher doses), Shield produced approximately 26 eggs.

    Articles

  • Street conversations are good practice, for sure, but people in casual conversations are not going to correct your errors, if only because they are too polite to do so.

    How to talk like a native in no time

  • The wildlife officer, in casual conversation, asks Hunter Joe where that deer came from.

    Wisconsin Roadkill Custody Battle

  • As to exactly what happens if you fail to renew the trust, I don't really know, although in casual conversations with my notario publico he assured me that it would NEVER fall out of my control.

    Additional thoughts on the restricted zones

  • The key to understanding the Ellis Island model (as well as the history of American immigration) is to realize that there is a huge difference between “immigration”, the way the word is used in casual conversation and what it means in the rest of the world, e.g.,

    Matthew Yglesias » Sleep Deprivation

  • Two men (Jorge Puerta Armenta and Fernando Suels Mendoza) in casual clothes set "Full Moon" in motion, arcing empty water bottles that break the silence with a whistling sound.

    Tides of Memory

  • The free podcasts are each roughly one half hour long and are humorous, informative, and remain casual enough in nature that you don't have to have a PhD in crypotlinguistics to follow them, though a background in alien dialects certainly never hurts.

    Archive 2009-08-01

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