[ kast, kahst ]
See synonyms for: castcasting on

verb (used with object),cast, cast·ing.
  1. to throw or hurl; fling: The gambler cast the dice.

  2. to throw off or away: He cast the advertisement in the wastebasket.

  1. to direct (the eye, a glance, etc.), especially in a cursory manner: She cast her eyes down the page.

  2. to cause to fall upon something or in a certain direction; send forth: to cast a soft light;to cast a spell;to cast doubts.

  3. to draw (lots), as in telling fortunes.

  4. Angling.

    • to throw out (a fishing line, net, bait, etc.): The fisherman cast his line.

    • to fish in (a stream, an area, etc.): He has often cast this brook.

  5. to throw down or bring to the ground: She cast herself on the sofa.

  6. to part with; lose: The horse cast a shoe.

  7. to shed or drop (skin, antlers, fruit, etc.): The snake cast its skin.

  8. (of an animal) to bring forth (young), especially abortively.

  9. to send off (a swarm), as bees do.

  10. to throw or set aside; discard or reject; dismiss: He cast the problem from his mind.

  11. to throw forth, as from within; emit or eject; vomit.

  12. to throw up (earth, sod, etc.), as with a shovel.

  13. to put or place, especially hastily or forcibly: to cast someone in prison.

  14. to deposit or give (a ballot or vote).

  15. to bestow; confer: to cast blessings upon someone.

  16. to make suitable or accordant; tailor: He cast his remarks to fit the occasion.

  17. Theater.

    • to select actors for (a play, motion picture, or the like).

    • to allot a role to (an actor).

    • to assign an actor to (a role).

  18. to form (an object) by pouring metal, plaster, etc., in a fluid state into a mold and letting it harden.

  19. to form (metal, plaster, etc.) into a particular shape by pouring it into a mold in a fluid state and letting it harden.

  20. to tap (a blast furnace).

  21. to compute or calculate; add, as a column of figures.

  22. to compute or calculate (a horoscope) astrologically; forecast.

  23. to turn or twist; warp.

  24. Nautical. to turn the head of (a vessel), especially away from the wind in getting under way.

  25. Fox Hunting. (of a hunter) to lead or direct (hounds) over ground believed to have been recently traveled by a fox.

  26. Archaic. to contrive, devise, or plan.

  27. Obsolete. to ponder.

verb (used without object),cast, cast·ing.
  1. to throw.

  2. to receive form in a mold.

  1. to calculate or add.

  2. (of hounds) to search an area for scent: The setter cast, but found no scent.

  3. to warp, as timber.

  4. Nautical. (of a vessel) to turn, especially to get the head away from the wind; tack.

  5. to select the actors for a play, motion picture, or the like.

  6. Obsolete.

    • to consider.

    • to plan or scheme.

  1. act of casting or throwing.

  2. that which is thrown.

  1. the distance to which a thing may be cast or thrown.

  2. Games.

    • a throw of dice.

    • the number rolled.

  3. Angling.

    • act of throwing a line or net onto the water.

    • a spot for casting a fishing line; a fishing place.

  4. Theater. the group of performers to whom parts are assigned; players.

  5. Hunting. a searching of an area for a scent by hounds.

  6. a stroke of fortune; fortune or lot.

  7. a ride offered on one's way; lift.

  8. the form in which something is made or written; arrangement.

  9. Metallurgy.

    • act of casting or founding.

    • the quantity of metal cast at one time.

  10. something formed from a material poured into a mold in a molten or liquid state; casting.

  11. an impression or mold made from something.

  12. Medicine/Medical. a rigid surgical dressing, usually made of bandage treated with plaster of Paris.

  13. outward form; shape; appearance.

  14. (of people) distinctive sort, type, or character; mold; stamp: The bars were teeming with twenty-somethings of the trust-fund hipster cast. He modeled himself after the cast of his piano teacher, who was an exemplar of self-discipline.

  15. a permanent twist or turn: to have a cast in one's eye.

  16. a warp.

  17. a slight tinge of some color; hue; shade: A good diamond does not have a yellowish cast.

  18. a dash or trace; a small amount.

  19. Zoology. something that is shed, ejected, or cast off or out, as molted skin, a feather, food from a bird's crop, or the coil of sand and waste passed by certain earthworms.

  20. Ornithology. pellet (def. 6).

  21. Falconry. a pair of hawks put in flight together.

  22. Pathology. effused plastic matter produced in the hollow parts of various diseased organs.

  23. low-grade, irregular wool.

  1. (of an animal, especially a horse) lying in such a position that it is unable to return to its feet without assistance.

Verb Phrases
  1. cast about,

    • to look, as to find something; search; seek: We cast about for something to do during the approaching summer vacation.

    • to scheme; plan: He cast about how he could avoid work.

  2. cast away,

    • Also cast aside. to reject; discard.

    • to shipwreck.

    • to throw away; squander: He will cast away this money just as he has done in the past.

  1. cast back, to refer to something past; revert to: The composer casts back to his earlier work.

  2. cast down, to lower; humble.

  3. cast off. See entry at castoff.

  4. cast on, Knitting. to set (yarn) on a needle in order to form the initial stitches in knitting.

  5. cast out, to force out; expel; eject.

  6. cast up,

    • to add up; compute.

    • to vomit; eject.

    • Chiefly Scot. to turn up; appear.

Idioms about cast

  1. at a single cast, through a single action or event: He bankrupted himself at a single cast.

Origin of cast

First recorded in 1175–1225; Middle English casten, from Old Norse kasta “to throw”

synonym study For cast

1. See throw. 55. See turn.

Other words from cast

  • cast·a·ble, adjective
  • cast·a·bil·i·ty [kast-uh-bil-i-tee], /ˌkæst əˈbɪl ɪ ti/, noun
  • sub·cast, noun
  • un·cast, adjective
  • well-cast, adjective

Words that may be confused with cast

Words Nearby cast Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use cast in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for cast


/ (kɑːst) /

verbcasts, casting or cast (mainly tr)
  1. to throw or expel with violence or force

  2. to throw off or away: she cast her clothes to the ground

  1. to reject or dismiss: he cast the idea from his mind

  2. to shed or drop: the snake cast its skin; the horse cast a shoe; the ship cast anchor

  3. be cast NZ (of a sheep) to have fallen and been unable to rise

  4. to cause to appear: to cast a shadow

  5. to express (doubts, suspicions, etc) or cause (them) to be felt

  6. to direct (a glance, attention, etc): cast your eye over this

  7. to place, esp in a violent manner: he was cast into prison

  8. (also intr) angling to throw (a line) into the water

  9. to draw or choose (lots)

  10. to give or deposit (a vote)

  11. to select (actors) to play parts in (a play, film, etc)

    • to shape (molten metal, glass, etc) by pouring or pressing it into a mould

    • to make (an object) by such a process

  12. (also intr often foll by up) to compute (figures or a total)

  13. to predict: the old woman cast my fortune

  14. astrology to draw on (a horoscope) details concerning the positions of the planets in the signs of the zodiac at a particular time for interpretation in terms of human characteristics, behaviour,

  15. to contrive (esp in the phrase cast a spell)

  16. to formulate: he cast his work in the form of a chart

  17. (also intr) to twist or cause to twist

  18. (also intr) nautical to turn the head of (a sailing vessel) or (of a sailing vessel) to be turned away from the wind in getting under way

  19. hunting to direct (a pack of hounds) over (ground) where their quarry may recently have passed

  20. (intr) (of birds of prey) to eject from the crop and bill a pellet consisting of the indigestible parts of birds or animals previously eaten

  21. falconry to hold the body of a hawk between the hands so as to perform some operation upon it

  22. printing to stereotype or electrotype

  23. cast in one's lot with or throw in one's lot with to share in the activities or fortunes of (someone else)

  1. the act of casting or throwing

    • Also called: casting something that is shed, dropped, or egested, such as the coil of earth left by an earthworm

    • another name for pellet (def. 4)

  1. an object that is thrown

  2. the distance an object is or may be thrown

    • a throw at dice

    • the resulting number shown

  3. angling

    • a trace with a fly or flies attached

    • the act or an instance of casting

  4. the wide sweep made by a sheepdog to get behind a flock of sheep or by a hunting dog in search of a scent

    • the actors in a play collectively

    • (as modifier): a cast list

    • an object made of metal, glass, etc, that has been shaped in a molten state by being poured or pressed into a mould

    • the mould used to shape such an object

  5. form or appearance

  6. sort, kind, or style

  7. a fixed twist or defect, esp in the eye

  8. a distortion of shape

  9. surgery a rigid encircling casing, often made of plaster of Paris, for immobilizing broken bones while they heal

  10. pathol a mass of fatty, waxy, cellular, or other material formed in a diseased body cavity, passage, etc

  11. the act of casting a pack of hounds

  12. falconry a pair of falcons working in combination to pursue the same quarry

  13. archery the speed imparted to an arrow by a particular bow

  14. a slight tinge or trace, as of colour

  15. a computation or calculation

  16. a forecast or conjecture

  17. fortune or a stroke of fate

  18. palaeontol a replica of an organic object made of nonorganic material, esp a lump of sediment that indicates the internal or external surface of a shell or skeleton

  19. palaeontol a sedimentary structure representing the infilling of a mark or depression in a soft layer of sediment (or bed)

Origin of cast

C13: from Old Norse kasta

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with cast


In addition to the idioms beginning with cast

  • cast about
  • cast adrift
  • cast away
  • cast doubt on
  • cast down
  • cast in one's lot
  • cast in stone
  • cast in the same mold
  • castles in the air
  • cast loose
  • cast off
  • cast on
  • cast one's lot with
  • cast out
  • cast pearls before swine
  • cast the first stone

also see:

  • die is cast

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.