- The definition of a casualty is a serious accident.
A fatal car crash is an example of a casualty.
- Casualty is defined as a person or thing lost or destroyed by an accident or military action.
- Family photos lost in a fire are an example of casualty.
- Soldiers killed during war are examples of casualty.
- A prisoner of war is an example of a casualty.
- an accident, esp. a fatal one
- a member of the armed forces who is lost to active service through being killed, wounded, captured, interned, sick, or missing
- [pl.] losses of personnel resulting from death, injury, etc.
- anyone hurt or killed in an accident
- anything lost, destroyed, or made useless by some unfortunate or unforeseen happening
Origin of casualtyMiddle English and Old French casuelte from Medieval Latin casualitas: see casual
- a. One who is injured or killed in an accident: a train wreck with many casualties.b. One who is injured, killed, captured, or missing in action through engagement with an enemy: Battlefield casualties were high.
- One that is harmed or eliminated as a result of an action or circumstance: The corner grocery was a casualty of the expanding supermarkets.
- An accident, especially one involving serious injury or loss of life.
Origin of casualtyMiddle English casuelte chance, accident from Old French from Medieval Latin cāsuālitās from Latin cāsuālis fortuitous ; see casual .
Usage Note: In military usage, a casualty is a serviceperson who has been killed, injured, captured, or in some other way rendered unable to serve. When used in nonmilitary situations, such as newspaper reports about accidents, the word casualty is usually used to mean a person who is either killed or injured. Sometimes, however, people use casualties to refer only to individuals who have died, not to those who have been injured. This usage is often considered an error. In our 2013 survey, 60 percent of the Usage Panel disapproved of a sentence where casualties was used to mean “fatalities” only: Officials have reported 21 casualties from yesterday's earthquake. In addition to those fatalities, 79 people were seriously injured.
From Latin casuālitas (compare casuality).
casualty - Legal Definition
- An individual or property that has been destroyed, injured, lost, or otherwise made ineffective.
- The harm to an individual or property as a result of a sudden, unexpected, or unusual event.
- An accident, especially one that is fatal or serious.