[kas-ting, kah-sting]


the act or process of a person or thing that casts.
something cast; any article that has been cast in a mold.
the act or process of choosing actors to play the various roles in a theatrical production, motion picture, etc.
the act or skill of throwing a fishing line out over the water by means of a rod and reel: I'll have to improve my casting if I'm ever going to learn to fish well.
Zoology. cast(def 62).

Origin of casting

Middle English word dating back to 1250–1300; see origin at cast, -ing1
Related formsmul·ti·cast·ing, noun


[kast, kahst]

verb (used with object), cast, cast·ing.

to throw or hurl; fling: The gambler cast the dice.
to throw off or away: He cast the advertisement in the wastebasket.
to direct (the eye, a glance, etc.), especially in a cursory manner: She cast her eyes down the page.
to cause to fall upon something or in a certain direction; send forth: to cast a soft light; to cast a spell; to cast doubts.
to draw (lots), as in telling fortunes.
  1. to throw out (a fishing line, net, bait, etc.): The fisherman cast his line.
  2. to fish in (a stream, an area, etc.): He has often cast this brook.
to throw down or bring to the ground: She cast herself on the sofa.
to part with; lose: The horse cast a shoe.
to shed or drop (hair, fruit, etc.): The snake cast its skin.
(of an animal) to bring forth (young), especially abortively.
to send off (a swarm), as bees do.
to throw or set aside; discard or reject; dismiss: He cast the problem from his mind.
to throw forth, as from within; emit or eject; vomit.
to throw up (earth, sod, etc.), as with a shovel.
to put or place, especially hastily or forcibly: to cast someone in prison.
to deposit or give (a ballot or vote).
to bestow; confer: to cast blessings upon someone.
to make suitable or accordant; tailor: He cast his remarks to fit the occasion.
  1. to select actors for (a play, motion picture, or the like).
  2. to allot a role to (an actor).
  3. to assign an actor to (a role).
to form (an object) by pouring metal, plaster, etc., in a fluid state into a mold and letting it harden.
to form (metal, plaster, etc.) into a particular shape by pouring it into a mold in a fluid state and letting it harden.
to tap (a blast furnace).
to compute or calculate; add, as a column of figures.
to compute or calculate (a horoscope) astrologically; forecast.
to turn or twist; warp.
Nautical. to turn the head of (a vessel), especially away from the wind in getting under way.
Fox Hunting. (of a hunter) to lead or direct (hounds) over ground believed to have been recently traveled by a fox.
Archaic. to contrive, devise, or plan.
Obsolete. to ponder.

verb (used without object), cast, cast·ing.

to throw.
to receive form in a mold.
to calculate or add.
to conjecture; forecast.
(of hounds) to search an area for scent: The setter cast, but found no scent.
to warp, as timber.
Nautical. (of a vessel) to turn, especially to get the head away from the wind; tack.
to select the actors for a play, motion picture, or the like.
  1. to consider.
  2. to plan or scheme.


act of casting or throwing.
that which is thrown.
the distance to which a thing may be cast or thrown.
  1. a throw of dice.
  2. the number rolled.
  1. act of throwing a line or net onto the water.
  2. a spot for casting a fishing line; a fishing place.
Theater. the group of performers to whom parts are assigned; players.
Hunting. a searching of an area for a scent by hounds.
a stroke of fortune; fortune or lot.
a ride offered on one's way; lift.
the form in which something is made or written; arrangement.
  1. act of casting or founding.
  2. the quantity of metal cast at one time.
something formed from a material poured into a mold in a molten or liquid state; casting.
an impression or mold made from something.
Medicine/Medical. a rigid surgical dressing, usually made of bandage treated with plaster of Paris.
outward form; appearance.
sort; kind; style.
tendency; inclination.
a permanent twist or turn: to have a cast in one's eye.
a warp.
a slight tinge of some color; hue; shade: A good diamond does not have a yellowish cast.
a dash or trace; a small amount.
computation; calculation; addition.
a conjecture; forecast.
Zoology. something that is shed, ejected, or cast off or out, as molted skin, a feather, food from a bird's crop, or the coil of sand and waste passed by certain earthworms.
Ornithology. pellet(def 6).
Falconry. a pair of hawks put in flight together.
Pathology. effused plastic matter produced in the hollow parts of various diseased organs.
low-grade, irregular wool.


(of an animal, especially a horse) lying in such a position that it is unable to return to its feet without assistance.

Verb Phrases

cast about,
  1. to look, as to find something; search; seek: We cast about for something to do during the approaching summer vacation.
  2. to scheme; plan: He cast about how he could avoid work.
cast away,
  1. Also cast reject; discard.
  2. to shipwreck.
  3. to throw away; squander: He will cast away this money just as he has done in the past.
cast back, to refer to something past; revert to: The composer casts back to his earlier work.
cast down, to lower; humble.
cast off,
  1. to discard; reject.
  2. to let go or let loose, as a vessel from a mooring.
  3. determine the quantity of type or space that a given amount of text will occupy when set.
  4. make (the final stitches) in completing a knitted fabric.
  5. to throw (a falcon) off from the fist to pursue game.
cast on, Textiles. to set (yarn) on a needle in order to form the initial stitches in knitting.
cast out, to force out; expel; eject.
cast up,
  1. to add up; compute.
  2. to vomit; eject.
  3. Chiefly turn up; appear.

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 casting

noun Metallurgy.

a process in which molten metal is forced into metallic molds under hydraulic pressure to shape it, form objects, etc.
an article made by this process.

Origin of die casting

First recorded in 1910–15
Related formsdie-cast·ing, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for casting

drop, direct, count, choose, pick, lob, impel, shed, shy, sling, fling, fire, toss, pitch, boot, chuck, drive, project, launch, hurl

Examples from the Web for casting

Contemporary Examples of casting

Historical Examples of casting

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

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • He glanced about the room, casting his eyes critically at the books.

    The Foolish Lovers

    St. John G. Ervine

  • And, casting his long arms about her, he strove to draw her to him.

    Fair Margaret

    H. Rider Haggard

  • And, casting the pen down, he turned his stool round impatiently.

    Fair Margaret

    H. Rider Haggard

  • And casting about for an excuse, he grasped at the most sovereign solace he knew of.

    The Fortune Hunter

    Louis Joseph Vance

British Dictionary definitions for casting



an object or figure that has been cast, esp in metal from a mould
the process of transferring molten steel to a mould
the choosing of actors for a production
hunting the act of directing a pack of hounds over ground where their quarry may recently have passed so that they can quest for, discover, or recapture its scent
zoology another word for cast (def. 28), pellet (def. 4)


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 casting

c.1300, "a throwing; late 14c., "a metal casting, a product of a cast;" verbal noun from cast (v.). Theatrical sense is from 1814. Casting couch in the naughty-Hollywood sense is from 1948.



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

casting in Medicine




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 casting


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.