Definition of casual in English:



  • 1Relaxed and unconcerned.

    ‘she regarded his affairs with a casual indulgence’
    ‘he tried to make his voice sound casual’
    • ‘His expression is casual, relaxed, though maybe a little tired.’
    • ‘This is a world of endemic and endless daily violence, and a seemingly casual disregard for the value of life.’
    • ‘Her voice sounded casual, yet there was something unsaid gleaming in her dark brown eyes.’
    • ‘But even though his tone was casual enough, there was nothing but complete honesty and sincerity in his green-gold eyes.’
    • ‘Though his voice was casual, Skye caught a flicker of trouble in his eyes, and she could hear his doubt.’
    • ‘She then walks away with a casual, uncaring swagger.’
    • ‘Despite that, Olivia dismisses his remark with a casual shrug.’
    • ‘Even then, the British experts have been amazed by the casual attitude taken towards such a dangerous substance.’
    • ‘In their attitude to waste and higher prices, ministers reveal a casual disregard for the taxpayers and consumers who foot the bills.’
    • ‘Other countries don't share this casual attitude.’
    • ‘Did the physician and surgical staff members present demonstrate an attitude that was too casual and cavalier?’
    • ‘He couldn't have been more casual, more laid-back, more brutal.’
    • ‘She tried to sound casual, as if she really didn't care if he were talking to her or not, hoping he'd be taken aback.’
    • ‘His posture might have been casual and uncaring but his eyes gave it all away.’
    • ‘Such a casual attitude keeps leading to nasty accidents.’
    • ‘I plunged my hands into my trouser pockets and tried to affect a casual air, even though I found myself suddenly embarrassed.’
    • ‘I sincerely believe the reason we have such a casual attitude toward guns and gun handling is the fact almost everyone has never been shot before.’
    • ‘Behind his casual attitude lies the strict discipline a teacher asks of a pupil.’
    • ‘But I do worry that too casual an attitude to safety sets a poor example for the more impressionable among the diving community.’
    • ‘The reasons behind the increase are believed by researchers and police to be an increasingly casual attitude to the law, particularly among young drivers.’
    relaxed, friendly, natural, informal, unceremonious, unpretentious, easy-going, free and easy, uninhibited, open
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    1. 1.1Made or done without much thought or premeditation.
      ‘a casual remark’
      • ‘Those who have heard him play over the last year confirm that for all the hasty coronations, casual dismissals, breezy hype and sour grapes of the past, Smith is an artist just coming into his own.’
      • ‘It was an uninterrupted performance, of spoken thoughts woven with casual comments through which her life and her views would automatically emerge.’
      • ‘The hope is that great science can be facilitated by chance meetings on a staircase or casual observations and musing over a sandwich and a cup of coffee.’
      • ‘The strip reads like a casual improvisation, though beyond the unbalanced setting, there isn't much invention on display.’
      • ‘This upset Scott who read more into the casual remark, but Jon tried to talk his friend out of any type of confrontation in the matter.’
      • ‘Then they hear some remark, casual or otherwise, and the player ruins his or her style trying to be like somebody else.’
      • ‘Even a casual remark about appearance, taken very seriously, can be a trigger in a person who has low self-esteem.’
      • ‘But then in January 1998 came that casual conversation at the London gym that sent Morgan in a new direction.’
      • ‘Does a casual remark from a coworker stick in your memory?’
      • ‘‘Oh that, it was just a casual remark,’ he said turning back to the road.’
      • ‘That seemingly casual remark inaugurated a six-week period during which I played the most consistently good golf I've ever played.’
      • ‘One cannot dismiss it as a casual remark from a man who spent two decades in this field of management.’
      • ‘I suspect they privately think his comments were ill-advised but were loath to lose a second top Senate leader over casual remarks in the space of six months.’
      • ‘She was later shattered to learn from a casual remark at a lunch party of his death at Gallipoli.’
      • ‘I do recall that a casual remark was made to the effect that my nose was similar to that of the deceased woman but had placed no particular significance on this.’
      • ‘Her brother, in a casual remark, later refers to her torrid past.’
      • ‘A casual remark Cook made on being asked about his feelings on arriving at the ‘North Pole’ seems to support this inference.’
      • ‘At that point and on your show I didn't know what that meant at all because it was such a casual offhand remark.’
      • ‘The extent to which young people can exploit this situation has meant that their most casual impulses carry more weight than they ever have before this time.’
      • ‘I was certainly caught off guard by this casual remark, but after mulling over what he said I decided I was not in the least bit offended.’
      offhand, random, impromptu, spontaneous, unpremeditated, unthinking, unstudied, unconsidered, parenthetical, passing, throwaway, trivial
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    2. 1.2Done or acting in a desultory way.
      ‘to the casual observer, rugby looks something like soccer’
      • ‘From Tampa to Denver, there is enough intrigue to stoke the interest of even the most casual football fan.’
      • ‘The casual observer may be unable to tell them apart.’
      • ‘To the casual observer, the Eastern Catholic churches might appear indistinguishable from their Orthodox neighbours.’
      • ‘Even a casual reading would suffice to demonstrate that Ross's account is wholly unreliable.’
      • ‘The commentators for the race managed to pitch their remarks at the precise level that bores both casual watchers and fans.’
      • ‘If the browsers at the museum appear transient, casual, and random, the art they come to see is still, exacting, and formal.’
      • ‘Indeed, to the casual viewer, nothing of consequence seems to happen.’
      • ‘The movie assumes the audience knows Curtis and his world beforehand and doesn't convince the casual viewer he's worth caring about.’
      • ‘‘The old fool in love’ may seem ridiculous to the casual witness, but those in love simply don't care.’
      • ‘I can understand why casual observers are sceptical.’
      • ‘To the casual observer, the impression is almost ideal.’
      • ‘The casual observer might find such a slow-paced, drawnout pastime to be something of an anachronism in today's quick-fix high-paced world.’
      • ‘Yet if 20: 20 cricket, as it is known, has brought in the casual fan, remarkably it has been the drawn-out five-day game that has them salivating.’
      • ‘A casual observer may have merely thought the moment a little odd.’
      • ‘And to even the most casual observer, the conference delegates are clearly very well behaved and polite.’
      • ‘Even as a casual observer, I can tell that there's some real tension in the air rather than the usual feel-good vibe that comes out of the event.’
      • ‘To the casual observer, it probably doesn't make a lot of sense.’
      • ‘The careless, the casual, the thoughtless reader will come away from them no wiser than he was before.’
      • ‘They just sat there like a couple of casual observers with no vested interest.’
      • ‘We can thus accommodate more casual gamers who want to play on their own time and in short sessions.’
      cursory, perfunctory, superficial, passing, fleeting, summary, desultory, careless
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    3. 1.3Done or acting without sufficient care or thoroughness.
      ‘the casual way in which victims were treated’
      • ‘A related objection can be made to the casual manner in which the evolutionary hypotheses are occasionally used.’
      • ‘When there's a rapport, architects can be somewhat casual about the process.’
      • ‘The best it seems to me that you can put against Andar is that there was a casual act of negligence on the part of its employee in not inspecting this particular trolley.’
      • ‘I am saying, however, that we have been extraordinarily casual and slap-dash and we really do need to look at the situation from the ground up.’
      • ‘This probably explains the rather casual manner in which Gamelin delivered his instructions to Georges.’
      • ‘She also believed that a lot of speech, even on the radio, is too casual and slipshod.’
      • ‘I believe that in any military action carried out by a government against a nation, a certain casual disregard for human life occurs.’
      • ‘Even where an employer owes a non-delegable duty he is not liable for the collateral or casual negligence of an independent contractor.’
      • ‘When life and death are treated in such a casual manner, are we not breeding people who attach no value to human life, not even their own?’
      • ‘What kind of crimes will these kids be committing as they get older, if they have this casual disregard of life at such an early age?’
      • ‘It's this built-in food supply that makes these types of plants more forgiving of casual care and attention.’
      • ‘Former Senate majority leader George Mitchell, now the chairman of Disney's board, revealed the casual manner in which Ovitz was hired.’
      • ‘But the casual disregard for the welfare of the poor is still very much a feature of life in the subcontinent.’
      • ‘I would be filled with rage at this casual disregard of my only child's suffering, if it weren't for the fact that it was pretty darn hilarious.’
      indifferent, apathetic, uncaring, uninterested, unconcerned
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  • 2Not regular or permanent, in particular.

    temporary, part-time, impermanent, freelance
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    1. 2.1Employed or established on a temporary or irregular basis.
      ‘casual staff’
      ‘casual jobs’
      • ‘Most of the dock workers were casual contractors.’
      • ‘Secondly, there is a total ban on the hiring of casual tutors and lecturers, and on the creation of short-term contracts to cover staffing shortages.’
      • ‘Sundari is not aware that her boss is breaking the law by employing her as a casual worker.’
      • ‘The poorest schools are most affected because the state government no longer employs casual teachers centrally but requires schools to hire them out of their own budgets.’
      • ‘The company employs more than 3,000 casual workers who have between 10 to 15 years service.’
      • ‘Many are unemployed or employed as casual workers with extremely low wages.’
      • ‘The company employs about 1,500 casual workers at peak season.’
      • ‘The change will mean that the workers will be re-classified as casual employees, costing them their fixed salaries and retirement benefits.’
      • ‘The company employs 1,410 workers plus an additional 7,000 working as casual labourers.’
      • ‘The report estimates that Australia has the second-highest proportion of temporary or casual workers of any developed country, behind Spain.’
      • ‘They said they had a critical staff shortage and that casual labourers who had worked at the depot for years had still not been hired as full-time employees.’
      • ‘Unions are seeking significant changes to the way employers can use casual workers, labour hire or contracting out.’
      • ‘The peak union body is demanding labour rights and improved benefits for irregular and casual workers in line with the regular workforce.’
      • ‘The government has also cancelled all leave in the health sector and announced that 700 casual employees have been recruited to replace the striking workers.’
      • ‘The casual workers who are employed seasonally to harvest the peat are guaranteed 13 weeks pay but just now they are left in a very unfortunate position at the mercy of the weather.’
      • ‘The management then employ casual workers to weigh it and pack it into bags.’
      • ‘Some 20 casual workers are employed by the company to maintain a fleet of 2,000 hire bicycles.’
      • ‘The legislation will cover all employees including agency and casual workers and, in many cases, workers who are self-employed.’
      • ‘It pays four permanent staff and has a pool of casual workers on call.’
      • ‘There is not the usual amount of fish being landed to the factories, thus there is no necessity to employ the casual workers in the factories this year.’
      temporary, part-time, impermanent, freelance
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    2. 2.2(of a sexual relationship or encounter) occurring between people who are not regular or established sexual partners.
      ‘they don't do one-night stands or casual flings’
      • ‘Participants' sexual relationships were mainly serially monogamous, with some women having sex with casual partners between relationships.’
      • ‘I've never enjoyed casual relationships and it takes me forever to fall in love.’
      • ‘Relationship type mattered with students saying that it is important to use condoms in a casual relationship, but less so in a steady relationship.’
      • ‘Staff believed her pregnancy was the result of a casual affair.’
      • ‘I'm sure you can understand why I'm not looking for a major commitment, but I'm also not after a casual fling.’
      • ‘Although this doesn't necessarily mean there's no sense of responsibility or care, in a casual encounter you're more likely to focus on the here and now.’
      • ‘To this day most women are very selective about their sexual partners or at least make sure that casual sexual encounters have no lasting consequences.’
      • ‘Seven years ago, Ben had what he saw as a casual affair with a Dominican woman he didn't know all that well.’
      • ‘I don't think there is a difference between the way you start a casual relationship and the way you start what might be a serious relationship.’
      • ‘Some people are looking for a serious relationship, while some just want to chat, date or have casual relations.’
      • ‘There is much talk of a male pill being developed one day, but in casual encounters could the woman afford to take the risk of trusting her sexual partner to be honestly on it?’
      • ‘She was married three times and had numerous casual liaisons.’
      • ‘Many of these sexual partners were casual ones, though not necessarily commercial sex workers.’
      • ‘He had several casual relationships while he was away, and he still talks about those girls to me.’
      • ‘Young people perceive greater STD risk and greater intention to use condoms with casual than with main sex partners.’
      • ‘These casual relationships happen usually in the land of the young.’
      promiscuous, recreational, extramarital
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  • 3[attributive] Happening by chance; accidental.

    ‘he pretended it was a casual meeting’
    • ‘Many of the poem's juxtapositions seem casual or accidental at first, but then turn treacherous.’
    • ‘He idolises Kavanagh, and engineers a casual meeting with him on the way to school each morning.’
    • ‘This has purely been a casual meeting in the street.’
    • ‘I don't want to give the feeling that the choices of imagery are accidental, or casual - that this picture could just as well be another picture.’
    • ‘Both rely heavily on rhyme, favoring couplets but committed to casual or accidental placement rather than to any definite scheme.’
    chance, accidental, random, unintentional, unplanned, unintended, inadvertent, unexpected, unforeseen, unanticipated, unlooked-for, occurring by accident, occurring by chance, fortuitous, coincidental, fluky, serendipitous, adventitious, aleatory
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  • 4Without formality of style or manner, in particular (of clothing) suitable for everyday wear rather than formal occasions.

    ‘a casual short-sleeved shirt’
    ‘an ideal coat for casual occasions’
    ‘the inn's casual atmosphere’
    • ‘The atmosphere is casual, relaxed and friendly and their prices are very reasonable.’
    • ‘It's an opportunity for friends to get together in the park in a casual relaxed setting to enjoy great food and entertainment.’
    • ‘Scott had wanted a relaxed, casual reception that looked more like a dance club than a wedding reception.’
    • ‘The relaxed, casual atmosphere of the center provides the ideal setting for their afternoon discussion.’
    • ‘As always with our friends, it was a casual, relaxed and interesting evening.’
    • ‘The man commands a presence and an element of style not expected or previously delivered in the casual atmosphere of the MMVAs.’
    • ‘The Meinton room on the ground floor is a place for speedy Thai, Malaysian and Chinese food, with a casual noodle bar style atmosphere.’
    • ‘With a mostly casual, fun and relaxed vibe, there's also that tingly suspicion that a monster party is just a song away.’
    • ‘Cheap drinks, a chatty and casual atmosphere and great meal deals are the main things you would normally associate with a Wetherspoon's pub.’
    • ‘Art on the walls, for sale and appreciation, adds to the relaxed and casual atmosphere, adding a touch of class and sophistication.’
    informal, not formal, relaxed, comfortable, sloppy, leisure, sportif, everyday
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  • 1A person who does something irregularly.

    ‘a number of casuals became regular customers’
    • ‘Countless casuals pick up occasional pieces, but the field of ‘serious’ glass collecting in Britain can still be largely divided into twelve narrowly delineated categories.’
    • ‘These two are not journeymen casuals out to pass the time on a Saturday afternoon.’
    • ‘Generally speaking, fishermen can be divided into the casuals and the addicts.’
    • ‘Inquiries made by officers about the Skirlington stall have revealed that the traders were casuals who turned up on the day and paid a stall fee.’
    1. 1.1A worker employed on an irregular or temporary basis.
      • ‘So we always look to re-deploy people or re-train them and the use of casuals is really about having flexibility to meet customer demand.’
      • ‘But this award has not prescribed ordinary hours for a casual.’
      • ‘The casuals are employed to collect levies from the drivers of public minivans and city buses.’
      • ‘I have had this job now for four months and I am a casual.’
      • ‘Since she wasn't there to supervise them and had casuals watching the class, the students just went crazy and didn't do anything.’
      • ‘The win comes as unions call for the focus of drinking to be on impairment, its occupational health and safety implications and its wider causes such as fatigue, overwork, and the use of casuals and outsourcing.’
      • ‘Qantas has added the 106 short-haul casuals to a roster of management, ex-management and overseas-based non-union crew on standby to scab in the event of further industrial action.’
      • ‘But if the casuals are really mislabeled regular employees, they can appeal to the union for representation.’
      • ‘Thousands of young retail workers, for example, continue to work as casuals, employed as little as 16 hours a week, frequently spread over broken shifts.’
      • ‘Over the past 12 months casuals have represented about 10% of the total operational cargo workforce.’
      • ‘The longest-serving casual at the recycling plant had been a delegate and safety committee secretary.’
      • ‘At present, childcare workers are employed as casuals.’
      • ‘Regular casuals in pubs, hotels and casinos will be able to convert to permanency after 12 months, while power workers whose jobs were contracted have been re-employed by Integral Energy.’
      • ‘Stephen Rolls was already working on the wharves as a casual with Patrick.’
      • ‘There are people working on a regular roster, working 20 hours or more who are still seen as casuals.’
      • ‘Today there are only about 30 workers - four permanent employees, who were retained when Cey-nor was transferred to North Sea in July 2001, and the remainder casuals.’
      • ‘The casuals are only paid 100 rupees a day.’
      • ‘Cairns - an important tourism gateway - has only one fulltime airport and employs 11 casuals and 8 part-time workers.’
      • ‘The casuals have been employed at the hospital for more than seven years.’
      • ‘Women are employed as casuals so their employers can slide out of paying full entitlements such as maternity leave.’
      temporary worker, part-timer, freelance, freelancer
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  • 2Clothes or shoes suitable for everyday wear rather than formal occasions.

    • ‘Bertie on the beach in white and yellow check casuals, hair blowing in the breeze, bopping alongside the rest, enjoying his EU observer status.’
    • ‘More and more people are wearing dressy casuals for most occasions and this has meant a great growth in cotton casuals.’
    • ‘It has a fairly wide range of business casuals, all in cotton and cotton-rich fabrics.’
    • ‘Or just slip into some casuals and simply walk into the rain!’
    • ‘You don't have to go to sea to look good in this year's nautically-themed summer casuals.’
    • ‘Eager to don their best and shelve their inhibitions for one night, members were only two keen to trade their golfing casuals and show off their style, all for a good cause, the have a bit of fun at their own expense.’
    • ‘Dressed in casuals and far removed from the bright lights on the theatrical stage, he looks different from the characters he portrayed so powerfully, the day before.’
    • ‘She stayed here since they brought you in, minus the time she took to change into casuals.’
    • ‘The crowd was a mix of men and woman, some in casuals, others dressed up.’
    • ‘Another satisfying feature of these sandals is their looks… the active sandals unlike many others appear graceful and go with almost all the casuals.’
    • ‘First it was boys who took to the ramp and in casuals and some in sports gear, they had the audience cheering and clapping.’
    • ‘You can, of course, chill out at most mealtimes in smart casuals.’
    • ‘All I can say is, thank God for cotton casuals, fleece sweatshirts and elastic-waist stirrup pants!’
    • ‘From night gowns to casuals, she could find them all.’
    • ‘They could've been on their way home from the gym, they were all wearing sports casuals.’
    • ‘When I came back down, I actually met the guy, and he looked me up and down in that disapproving look, because I was just wearing casuals.’
    • ‘Wearing casuals, they might have been taken for weekenders, just come from the city for a stroll on the beach in the pleasant weather, except that the officers had seen them on the boats.’
    • ‘Some were attired in figure-hugging minis, some were dressed in sparkling evening wear and a few in casuals.’


Late Middle English (in casual and casual): from Old French casuel and Latin casualis, from casus fall (compare with case).