Causal - casual

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Do not confuse causal and casual, and be careful not to mistype casual for causal (or vice versa). The two words have very different meanings.

  • The word casual (which comes from casus, the Latin word for chance) means 'happening or done by chance'. So we may speak of a casual encounter or a casual remark. Derived from this root meaning of the word is a further meaning: relaxed or informal. A casual attitude is an attitude that is relaxed and unconcerned, while casual wear is clothing that is suitable for a relaxed or informal occasion.
Casual is pronounced with three syllables, 'CAZ-you-el', IPA: /ˈkæz juː əl/.
  • The word causal means 'being or involving a cause' - for example, "There is a causal connection between obesity and susceptibility to heart attacks".
Causal is pronounced with two syllables, 'CAUSE-el', IPA: /ˈkɔːz əl/.