[kast-uh-wey, kahst-]


a shipwrecked person.
anything cast adrift or thrown away.
an outcast.


cast adrift.
thrown away.

Origin of castaway

First recorded in 1520–30; noun, adj. use of verb phrase cast away

Synonyms for castaway Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for castaway

Historical Examples of castaway

  • The castaway killed it with an oar; but after that who would have slept?


    George Washington Cable

  • We could no more leave it, than the castaway sailor could leave his desert island.

    The Desert Home

    Mayne Reid

  • The saturnalia that succeeded the capture of the castaway had come to a close.

    The Boy Slaves

    Mayne Reid

  • "I am no castaway, aunt Charlotte," said Linda, rising to her feet.

    Linda Tressel

    Anthony Trollope

  • For ever afterwards,—for ever and ever and ever,—she must be a castaway.

    Linda Tressel

    Anthony Trollope

British Dictionary definitions for castaway



a person who has been shipwrecked
something thrown off or away; castoff

adjective (prenominal)

shipwrecked or put adrift
thrown away or rejected

verb cast away

(tr, adverb; often passive) to cause (a ship, person, etc) to be shipwrecked or abandoned
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 castaway

late 15c., "one who is rejected," from the verbal phrase (c.1300, literal and figurative), from cast (v.) + away (adv.). Specific sense "one adrift at sea" is from 1799. The adjective is first recorded 1540s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper