Definition of casualty noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈkæʒuəlti//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈkæʒuəlti//
    (pl. casualties) Hospitals, Terrorism, Conflict
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  1. 1[countable] a person who is killed or injured in war or in an accident road casualties Both sides had suffered heavy casualties (= many people had been killed). Wordfinderaggression, arms, army, attack, casualty, conflict, defend, hostile, territory, war CollocationsWar and peaceStarting a war declare/​make/​wage war (on somebody/​something) go to war (against/​with somebody) cause/​spark/​provoke/​foment/​quell unrest incite/​lead/​crush/​suppress a revolt/​rebellion launch/​mount/​carry out a surprise/​terrorist attack prevent/​halt/​represent an escalation of the conflict be torn apart by/​be on the brink of civil war enter/​invade/​occupy somebody’s territory lead/​launch/​resist/​repel an invasionMilitary operations adopt/​develop/​implement/​pursue a military strategy carry out/​execute/​perform military operations/​manoeuvres/(especially US English) maneuvers send/​deploy/​station/​pull back/​withdraw troops go on/​fly/​carry out a reconnaissance/​rescue mission train/​equip/​deploy army/​military/​combat units lead/​launch/​conduct a raid/​a surprise attack/​an (air/​airborne/​amphibious) assault (on somebody) employ/​use guerrilla tactics conduct/​wage biological/​guerrilla warfare fight/​crush/​defeat the rebels/​the insurgency suffer/​inflict a crushing defeat achieve/​win a decisive victory halt/​stop the British/​German/​Russian advance order/​force a retreatFighting join/​serve in the army/​navy/​air force be/​go/​remain/​serve on active duty serve/​complete/​return from a tour of duty be sent to the front (line) attack/​strike/​engage/​defeat/​kill/​destroy the enemy see/​report/​be engaged in heavy fighting call for/​be met with armed resistance come under heavy/​machine-gun/​mortar fire fire a machine-gun/​mortar shells/​rockets (at somebody/​something) shoot a rifle/​a pistol/​bullets/​missiles launch/​fire a cruise/​ballistic/​anti-tank missile use biological/​chemical/​nuclear weapons inflict/​suffer/​sustain heavy losses/​casualties be hit/​killed by enemy/​friendly/​artillery fire become/​be held as a prisoner of warCivilians in war harm/​kill/​target/​protect innocent/​unarmed civilians cause/​avoid/​limit/​minimize civilian casualties/​collateral damage impose/​enforce/​lift a curfew engage in/​be a victim of ethnic cleansing be sent to an internment/​a concentration camp accept/​house/​resettle refugees fleeing from war fear/​threaten military/​violent reprisals commit/​be accused of war crimes/​crimes against humanity/​genocideMaking peace make/​bring/​win/​achieve/​maintain/​promote peace call for/​negotiate/​broker/​declare a ceasefire/​a temporary truce sign a ceasefire agreement call for/​bring/​put an end to hostilities demand/​negotiate/​accept the surrender of somebody/​something establish/​send (in) a peacekeeping force negotiate/​conclude/​ratify/​sign/​accept/​reject/​break/​violate a peace treaty See related entries: Conflict
  2. 2[countable] a person that suffers or a thing that is destroyed when something else takes place synonym victim She became a casualty of the reduction in part-time work (= she lost her job). Small shops have been a casualty of the recession. See related entries: Terrorism
  3. 3[uncountable] (also casualty department, accident and emergency) (all British English) (North American English emergency room) the part of a hospital where people who need urgent treatment are taken The victims were rushed to casualty. We waited in casualty until a doctor could see us. Wordfinderaccident, ambulance, casualty, first aid, hospital, injure, paramedic, stretcher, victim, witness See related entries: Hospitals
  4. Word Origin late Middle English (in the sense ‘chance, a chance occurrence’): from medieval Latin casualitas, from casualis, from casus ‘fall’, on the pattern of words such as penalty.Extra examples He works as a doctor in casualty. Our division suffered only light casualties. The guerrillas inflicted heavy casualties on the local population. The main casualty of this scandal will be the minister’s reputation. Their relationship became a casualty of war. Both sides had suffered heavy casualties. Our primary objective is reducing road casualties. She became a casualty of the reduction in part-time work. Small businesses have been a casualty of the recession. They say that truth is the first casualty of war.

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