verb (used with object), cast, cast·ing.
- 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.
- 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).
verb (used without object), cast, cast·ing.
- to consider.
- to plan or scheme.
- a throw of dice.
- the number rolled.
- act of throwing a line or net onto the water.
- a spot for casting a fishing line; a fishing place.
- act of casting or founding.
- the quantity of metal cast at one time.
- 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.
- 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.
- to discard; reject.
- to let go or let loose, as a vessel from a mooring.
- Printing.to determine the quantity of type or space that a given amount of text will occupy when set.
- Textiles.to make (the final stitches) in completing a knitted fabric.
- to throw (a falcon) off from the fist to pursue game.
- to add up; compute.
- to vomit; eject.
- Chiefly Scot.to turn up; appear.
- cast about,
- cast adrift,
- cast away,
- cast back,
- cast brace
Origin of cast
verb casts, casting or cast (mainly tr)
- to shape (molten metal, glass, etc) by pouring or pressing it into a mould
- to make (an object) by such a process
- Also called: castingsomething that is shed, dropped, or egested, such as the coil of earth left by an earthworm
- another name for pellet (def. 4)
- a throw at dice
- the resulting number shown
- a trace with a fly or flies attached
- the act or an instance of casting
- 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
Word Origin for cast
mid-13c., "a throw, an act of throwing," from cast (v.). In early use especially of dice, hence figurative uses relating to fortune or fate. Meaning "that which is cast" is from c.1550s. Meaning "dash or shade of color" is from c.1600. The sense of "a throw" carried an idea of "the form the thing takes after it has been thrown," which led to widespread and varied meanings, such as "group of actors in a play" (1630s). OED finds 42 distinct noun meaning and 83 verbal ones, with many sub-definitions. Many of the figurative senses converged in a general meaning "sort, kind, style" (mid-17c.). A cast in the eye (early 14c.) preserves the older verbal sense of "warp, turn."
c.1200, from a Scandinavian source akin to Old Norse kasta "to throw" (cf. Swedish kasta, Danish kaste, North Frisian kastin), of uncertain origin. Meaning "to form in a mold" is late 15c. In the sense of "warp, turn" it replaced Old English weorpan (see warp (v.)), and itself largely has been superseded now by throw, though cast still is used of fishing lines and glances.
Throw down, hurl to the ground, as in She cast down her coat on the grass. [Late 1400s]
Bend down, lower, as in He cast down his eyes. [Late 1300s]
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
- die is cast