• synonyms


[kast-uh-wey, kahst-]
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  1. a shipwrecked person.
  2. anything cast adrift or thrown away.
  3. an outcast.
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  1. cast adrift.
  2. thrown away.
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Origin of castaway

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


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Examples from the Web for castaway

Historical Examples

  • 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

  • If it were true that she was in very fact already a castaway, why should she not go with him?

    Linda Tressel

    Anthony Trollope

British Dictionary definitions for castaway


  1. a person who has been shipwrecked
  2. something thrown off or away; castoff
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adjective (prenominal)
  1. shipwrecked or put adrift
  2. thrown away or rejected
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verb cast away
  1. (tr, adverb; often passive) to cause (a ship, person, etc) to be shipwrecked or abandoned
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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper