Definition of “casual” - English Dictionary

“casual” in English

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uk /ˈkæʒ.u.əl/ us /ˈkæʒ.u.əl/
adverb uk /ˈkæʒ.u.ə.li/ us /ˈkæʒ.u.ə.li/


She was dressed casually in shorts and a T-shirt.

(Definition of “casual” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“casual” in American English

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us /ˈkæʒ·u·əl/

casual adjective (NOT SERIOUS)

not serious or careful in attitude; only partly interested:

a casual glance at a magazine
Even to the casual observer, the forgery was obvious.

casual adjective (INFORMAL)

not formal; relaxed in style or manner:

We have a small office and I am very casual and wear slacks and sports shirts and things like that.

casual adjective (TEMPORARY)

not regular or frequent; temporary or done sometimes:

casual laborers

Casual also means slight:

He was only a casual acquaintance – I didn’t know him well.

casual adjective (NOT PLANNED)

not intended or planned:

a casual remark
casual conversation
adverb us /ˈkæʒ·ə·wə·li/

We were told to dress casually for the walking tour.

(Definition of “casual” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

“casual” in Business English

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uk /ˈkæʒjuəl/ us /ˈkæʒuəl/

HR used to describe work that is not permanent, or workers that are not employed permanently but only when a company needs them:

casual employee/worker/labourer Most casual workers are paid by the day or hour.
casual work/jobs/labour After leaving school she had a range of casual jobs.
She does not intend necessarily to give up work but may work on a casual basis.

WORKPLACE casual clothes are informal:

casual clothes/dress/attire Research shows that 90% of US companies now allow casual dress regularly.
The style of dress in the office could best be described as business casual rather than formal.


uk /ˈkæʒjuəl/ us /ˈkæʒuəl/ UK

[ C ] HR a worker who is not employed permanently but only when a company needs them:

On the whole, semi-skilled and unskilled positions are filled by casuals.
casuals [ plural ]

WORKPLACE informal clothing:

Last January, the firm dispensed with any requirement to wear business suits and about half the staff now opt for casuals.

(Definition of “casual” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)