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.

to throw out (a fishing line, net, bait, etc.):
The fisherman cast his line.
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.

to select actors for (a play, motion picture, or the like).
to allot a role to (an actor).
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.
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.

to consider.
to plan or scheme.

act of casting or throwing.
that which is thrown.
the distance to which a thing may be cast or thrown.

a throw of dice.
the number rolled.


act of throwing a line or net onto the water.
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.

act of casting or founding.
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.
cast about,

to look, as to find something; search; seek:
We cast about for something to do during the approaching summer vacation.
to scheme; plan:
He cast about how he could avoid work.

cast away,

Also, cast aside. to reject; discard.
to shipwreck.
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,

to discard; reject.
to let go or let loose, as a vessel from a mooring.
Printing. to determine the quantity of type or space that a given amount of text will occupy when set.
Textiles. to make (the final stitches) in completing a knitted fabric.
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,

to add up; compute.
to vomit; eject.
Chiefly Scot. to turn up; appear.

at a single cast, through a single action or event:
He bankrupted himself at a single cast.
Contemporary Examples

The boys wear what look like cast-off gym clothes with sandals.
Whatever You Do Someone Will Die. A Short Story About Impossible Choices in Iraq Nathan Bradley Bethea August 30, 2014

Does he pick up yet another identity, a cast-off item left on a barstool?
‘Mad Men’ Season 6 Review: Triumphant, Lyrical, and Way Existential Jace Lacob April 2, 2013

Around the world, people are putting garbage and cast-off materials to productive use.
Israeli Inventor Builds Cardboard Bikes Edward Ferguson June 26, 2013

Historical Examples

The snakeskin bird gets its name from its habit of using the cast-off skins of snakes for decorative purposes.
The Dawn of Reason James Weir

Exuviation: the act of molting: the cast-off skin or exuvium.
Explanation of Terms Used in Entomology John. B. Smith

He tells us himself that he depended on chance for a meal and wore his fellow students’ cast-off clothes.
Hero Tales of the Far North Jacob A. Riis

The water-line is strewn with cast-off salmon heads and entrails.
Over the Rocky Mountains to Alaska Charles Warren Stoddard

You have a cast-off son who perhaps at this very moment is standing on the threshold of destruction.
The Day of Wrath Maurus Jkai

I require neither your money, your food, nor your cast-off raiment.
The Works of Rudyard Kipling: One Volume Edition Rudyard Kipling

Does not the whole of the civilised world wear the cast-off clothes of Paris?
Saunterings in and about London Max Schlesinger

(prenominal) thrown away; abandoned: cast-off shoes
a person or thing that has been discarded or abandoned
(printing) an estimate of the amount of space that a piece of copy will occupy when printed in a particular size and style of type
verb (adverb)
to remove (mooring lines) that hold (a vessel) to a dock
to knot (a row of stitches, esp the final row) in finishing off knitted or woven material
(printing) to estimate the amount of space that will be taken up by (a book, piece of copy, etc) when it is printed in a particular size and style of type
(intransitive) (in Scottish country dancing) to perform a progressive movement during which each partner of a couple dances separately behind one line of the set and then reunites with the other in their original position in the set or in a new position
verb (mainly transitive) casts, casting, cast
to throw or expel with violence or force
to throw off or away: she cast her clothes to the ground
to reject or dismiss: he cast the idea from his mind
to shed or drop: the snake cast its skin, the horse cast a shoe, the ship cast anchor
(NZ) be cast, (of a sheep) to have fallen and been unable to rise
to cause to appear: to 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 manner: he was cast into prison
(also intransitive) (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)

to shape (molten metal, glass, etc) by pouring or pressing it into a mould
to make (an object) by such a process

(also intransitive) often foll by up. to compute (figures or a total)
to predict: the 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 formulate: he cast his work in the form of a chart
(also intransitive) to twist or cause to twist
(also intransitive) (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
(intransitive) (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, throw in one’s lot with, to share in the activities or fortunes of (someone else)
the act of casting or throwing

Also called casting. something that is shed, dropped, or egested, such as the coil of earth left by an earthworm
another name for pellet (sense 4)

an object that is thrown
the distance an object is or may be thrown

a throw at dice
the resulting number shown


a trace with a fly or flies attached
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

the actors in a play collectively
(as modifier): a cast list

an object made of metal, glass, etc, that has been shaped in a molten state by being poured or pressed into a mould
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)

1741, from verbal phrase (c.1400), from cast (v.) + off (adv.). From 1746 as a past participle adjective.

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.”

cast (kāst)

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. Also called 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.


Interpretation; opinion; spin, take •In the sense of a personal turn or inclination of mind, cast is attested by 1711: He has his own cast on this (1990s+)
Center for Applied Special Technology

cast about
cast adrift
cast away
cast doubt on
cast down
cast in one’s lot
cast in stone
cast in the same mold
cast loose
cast off
cast on
cast one’s lot with
cast out
cast pearls before swine
cast the first stone


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