[out-kast, -kahst]


a person who is rejected or cast out, as from home or society: In the beginning the area was settled by outcasts, adventurers, and felons.
a homeless wanderer; vagabond.
rejected matter; refuse.


cast out, as from one's home or society: an outcast son.
pertaining to or characteristic of an outcast: outcast misery.
rejected or discarded: outcast opinions.

Origin of outcast

Middle English word dating back to 1250–1300; see origin at out-, cast

Synonyms for outcast


[out-kast, -kahst]

noun Scot.

a falling out; quarrel.

Origin of outcast

1590–1600; noun use of verb phrase (Scottish) cast out
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for outcast

Contemporary Examples of outcast

Historical Examples of outcast

  • All this must have seemed the veriest irony when addressed to an outcast Jew.

  • He was a vagabond and an outcast, and scenes of horror were not new to him.

    Henry Dunbar

    M. E. Braddon

  • He found himself an outcast in the midst of the populous camp.

    White Fang

    Jack London

  • Note: The outcast princess is represented as “herding sheep.”

  • There will be left of it but one unprincipled woman—and she wretched and an outcast.

    Ruggles of Red Gap

    Harry Leon Wilson

British Dictionary definitions for outcast



a person who is rejected or excluded from a social group
a vagabond or wanderer
anything thrown out or rejected


rejected, abandoned, or discarded; cast out
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 outcast

mid-14c., "a person cast out or rejected," originally past participle of Middle English outcasten, from out + casten "to cast" (see cast (v.)). The adjective is attested from late 14c. In an Indian context, outcaste "one who has been expelled from his caste" is from 1876; see caste.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper