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

Origin of cast

1175–1225; Middle English casten < Old Norse kasta to throw
Related formscast·a·ble, adjectivecast·a·bil·i·ty, nounsub·cast, nounun·cast, adjectivewell-cast, adjective
Can be confusedcast caste class

Synonyms for cast

1. See throw. 55. See turn. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cast-off

Contemporary Examples of cast-off

Historical Examples of cast-off

  • Hitherto he had only enjoyed "make downs," as they were called—new ones made out of some one's cast-off clothing.

    The Underworld

    James C. Welsh

  • Dicky, with a cast-off jacket from the vicar's store, took to hanging about Liverpool Street Station in quest of bags to carry.

    A Child of the Jago

    Arthur Morrison

  • She makes a very slight nest of sticks, hay, and sometimes of her own cast-off feathers.

  • This was she in whose behalf he had weakly lowered himself to plead to his own cast-off slave for extenuating evidences!

  • Any of Gus's cast-off suits were thought good enough for the office, and my Sunday suit was two years old.

British Dictionary definitions for cast-off



(prenominal) thrown away; abandonedcast-off shoes

noun castoff

a person or thing that has been discarded or abandoned
printing an estimate of the amount of space that a piece of copy will occupy when printed in a particular size and style of type

verb cast off (adverb)

to remove (mooring lines) that hold (a vessel) to a dock
to knot (a row of stitches, esp the final row) in finishing off knitted or woven material
printing to estimate the amount of space that will be taken up by (a book, piece of copy, etc) when it is printed in a particular size and style of type
(intr) (in Scottish country dancing) to perform a progressive movement during which each partner of a couple dances separately behind one line of the set and then reunites with the other in their original position in the set or in a new position


verb casts, casting or cast (mainly tr)

to throw or expel with violence or force
to throw off or awayshe cast her clothes to the ground
to reject or dismisshe cast the idea from his mind
to shed or dropthe snake cast its skin; the horse cast a shoe; the ship cast anchor
be cast NZ (of a sheep) to have fallen and been unable to rise
to cause to appearto cast a shadow
to express (doubts, suspicions, etc) or cause (them) to be felt
to direct (a glance, attention, etc)cast your eye over this
to place, esp in a violent mannerhe was cast into prison
(also intr) angling to throw (a line) into the water
to draw or choose (lots)
to give or deposit (a vote)
to select (actors) to play parts in (a play, film, etc)
  1. to shape (molten metal, glass, etc) by pouring or pressing it into a mould
  2. to make (an object) by such a process
(also intr often foll by up) to compute (figures or a total)
to predictthe old woman cast my fortune
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,
to contrive (esp in the phrase cast a spell)
to formulatehe cast his work in the form of a chart
(also intr) to twist or cause to twist
(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
hunting to direct (a pack of hounds) over (ground) where their quarry may recently have passed
(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
falconry to hold the body of a hawk between the hands so as to perform some operation upon it
printing to stereotype or electrotype
cast in one's lot with or throw in one's lot with to share in the activities or fortunes of (someone else)


the act of casting or throwing
  1. Also called: castingsomething that is shed, dropped, or egested, such as the coil of earth left by an earthworm
  2. another name for pellet (def. 4)
an object that is thrown
the distance an object is or may be thrown
  1. a throw at dice
  2. the resulting number shown
  1. a trace with a fly or flies attached
  2. the act or an instance of casting
the wide sweep made by a sheepdog to get behind a flock of sheep or by a hunting dog in search of a scent
  1. the actors in a play collectively
  2. (as modifier)a cast list
  1. an object made of metal, glass, etc, that has been shaped in a molten state by being poured or pressed into a mould
  2. the mould used to shape such an object
form or appearance
sort, kind, or style
a fixed twist or defect, esp in the eye
a distortion of shape
surgery a rigid encircling casing, often made of plaster of Paris, for immobilizing broken bones while they heal
pathol a mass of fatty, waxy, cellular, or other material formed in a diseased body cavity, passage, etc
the act of casting a pack of hounds
falconry a pair of falcons working in combination to pursue the same quarry
archery the speed imparted to an arrow by a particular bow
a slight tinge or trace, as of colour
a computation or calculation
a forecast or conjecture
fortune or a stroke of fate
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
palaeontol a sedimentary structure representing the infilling of a mark or depression in a soft layer of sediment (or bed)

Word Origin for 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

Word Origin and History for cast-off

1741, from verbal phrase (c.1400), from cast (v.) + off (adv.). From 1746 as a past participle adjective.



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for cast-off




An object formed by the solidification of molten liquid poured into an impression or mold, as in a dental cast of the maxillary or mandibular arch.
A rigid dressing, usually made of gauze and plaster of Paris, used to immobilize an injured, fractured, or dislocated body part, as in a fracture or dislocation.plaster cast
A mass of fibrous material, coagulated protein, or exudate that has taken the form of the cavity in which it has been molded, such as the bronchial, renal, intestinal, or vaginal cavity, and that is found histologically as well as in urine or sputum samples.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with cast-off


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.