casualty

[kazh-oo-uh l-tee]
See more synonyms for casualty on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural cas·u·al·ties.
  1. Military.
    1. a member of the armed forces lost to service through death, wounds, sickness, capture, or because his or her whereabouts or condition cannot be determined.
    2. casualties,loss in numerical strength through any cause, as death, wounds, sickness, capture, or desertion.
  2. one who is injured or killed in an accident: There were no casualties in the traffic accident.
  3. any person, group, thing, etc., that is harmed or destroyed as a result of some act or event: Their house was a casualty of the fire.
  4. a serious accident, especially one involving bodily injury or death.

Origin of casualty

1375–1425; casual + -ty2; replacing late Middle English casuelte, equivalent to casuel (see casual) + -te -ty2
Can be confusedcasualty causality
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


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British Dictionary definitions for casualties

casualty

noun plural -ties
  1. a serviceman who is killed, wounded, captured, or missing as a result of enemy action
  2. a person who is injured or killed in an accident
  3. a hospital department in which victims of accidents, violence, etc, are treated
  4. anything that is lost, damaged, or destroyed as the result of an accident, etc
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for casualties

casualty

n.

early 15c., "chance, accident; incidental charge," from casual (adj.) on model of royalty, penalty, etc. Casuality had some currency 16c.-17c. but is now obsolete. Meaning "losses in numbers from a military or other troop" is from late 15c. Meaning "an individual killed, wounded, or lost in battle" is from 1844.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper