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.

die cast

or die-cast

verb (used with object)

to shape or form by die casting.

Origin of die cast

First recorded in 1905–10 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cast

Contemporary Examples of cast

Historical Examples of cast

  • When the boy got through, he cast a speculative glance at the carpetbag.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • You know you have but cast your bread upon the waters—so no more of that!

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • Release can come only when the race at large is willing to cast the evil thing off.

  • Casting from us our own faults first, let us cast from us and from him our neighbor's also.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • Stand fast with the anchors in the waist, and be ready for a cast.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

British Dictionary definitions for cast


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

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.


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."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for cast




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


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.