Main definitions of cast in English

: cast1cast2



  • 1literary [usually with adverbial of direction] Throw (something) forcefully in a specified direction.

    ‘he cast the book down on to the chair angrily’
    ‘the fishermen cast a large net around a school of tuna’
    figurative ‘individuals who do not accept the norms are cast out from the group’
    • ‘So just as prisoners are cast out of mainstream society, prisons exist largely out of mainstream public life.’
    • ‘The priest dribbled wine on the lamb's head, and meal and salt, then cut off some of the wool from between the horns and cast that on the altar fire.’
    • ‘Death and hell will be cast into the lake of fire.’
    • ‘She cast it aside forcefully and with stony eyes, turned to Dimitri.’
    • ‘I have had very close friends in the fishing community basically cast me out of their circles for criticizing commercial fishers.’
    • ‘On putting it on she was cast into the water and later rescued.’
    • ‘They give up their particular claim to sovereignty and cast themselves on the waters.’
    • ‘Again, I have difficulty imagining anyone casting their contraceptives to the wind on hearing about this one.’
    • ‘In short, historians very often have to cast their research net a lot wider in order to find evidence relating to a particular topic.’
    • ‘He then took his books and staff and cast them into the sea, openly vowing to give up his long-held practice of sorcery.’
    • ‘With that, she took the plunge into the Thames and was soon among her fellow athletes, bobbing along like beads cast into the water.’
    • ‘In this kind of world, the weak and feeble minded are cast to the side to die an unambiguous death, while the strong and wise go on to live a fruitful, long life.’
    • ‘There was to be no happy ending as her husband suddenly died leaving her a widow, a desperate state for any Indian woman as it cast her out of society and made her a non-person.’
    • ‘The preceding verses establish the fact that Satan was cast out of heaven.’
    • ‘While your heart may be set on the University of Michigan or Yale, cast your net wide.’
    • ‘Our forebears were cast out from their homeland by the ruling class.’
    • ‘The dead had long since been cast over the side, their scant possessions and weapons cradled in their embrace.’
    • ‘The book casts its net widely, aiming at different demographics.’
    • ‘When looking for inspiration he casts his net wide, with verses reflecting a wide range of ideas and affording readers a glimpse of his positive and often entertaining take on life.’
    • ‘That's a lot of bread that could have been cast upon the waters.’
    throw, toss, fling, pitch, hurl, bowl, dash, shy, lob, launch, flip, let fly, direct, discharge, project, propel, send
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    1. 1.1Throw the hooked and baited end of (a fishing line) out into the water.
      • ‘Even at that hour, the bay was already dotted with the boats of fishermen casting their lines.’
      • ‘It is an all too common fallacy that anglers fishing havens such as the Ebro only have to bait a line, cast it in and the fish, both large and numerous will duly oblige!’
      • ‘Many cast a line off the stern door at night to fish, sometimes not that successfully.’
      • ‘Many a man will cast a line with several hooks hoping that at least one fish will bite, some play it courageously with all their luck on one hook.’
      • ‘He had more chance of catching something in a jam jar than where he had cast his lines but we didn't have the heart to nip back and tell him.’
      • ‘Good thing, too, as we observe two fishermen casting lines nearby.’
      • ‘Lovely it was - with fishermen on the rocks in each little inlet, happily casting their lines, sipping on a beer, gazing at the sea.’
      • ‘A mid-sized rig loomed in the distance, floating on the water with several fishing lines cast over the sides.’
      • ‘They were casting fishing lines into the water.’
      • ‘Two men are sitting on the jetty, fixing bait to hooks and casting fishing-lines out into the water, chatting quietly in Spanish and sipping from bottles of Corona.’
    2. 1.2Let down (an anchor or sounding line).
      • ‘As a result, the ship's captain decides to pull up the sails and cast anchor for awhile until the wind returns.’
      • ‘Other times, resupply stations are available for you to cast your anchor at for repairs.’
      • ‘Then fearing lest we should have fallen upon rocks, they cast four anchors out of the stern, and wished for the day.’
      • ‘When the anchor was cast, he left the vessel with a purple face.’
      • ‘This captain of the ship decides to cast anchor after leaving Java because of a storm.’
  • 2[with adverbial of place] Cause (light or shadow) to appear on a surface.

    ‘the moon cast a pale light over the cottages’
    • ‘When we reach the waterline, the full moon has risen, casting steely light over the boulders that Graham has strategically positioned along the shore.’
    • ‘The emotional meeting cast new light on the islanders' historic role and the impact their brief meeting with Kennedy had on their lives.’
    • ‘Helmet-mounted lights cast less shadow, which can mess with your depth perception.’
    • ‘During a solar eclipse the Moon moves across the Sun, blocking its light and casting a shadow onto the Earth.’
    • ‘The posters were lit softly in the light, shadows cast in the corners farthest from the window.’
    • ‘Beneath the cloudy sky, the green and blue shade cast by the giant trees fell in a mottled pattern on the forest floor.’
    • ‘The figure loomed mysteriously in the shadows casting a long shadow from a street lamp.’
    • ‘His family was decimated by tuberculosis, casting a shadow over the rest of his life and career.’
    • ‘It is still casting a shadow over the whole perception of the council - the honourable thing would have been for him to resign.’
    • ‘The room was dark except for the light from the computer monitor, which cast a ghostly blue shade on the mother and daughter's faces.’
    • ‘It will also fuel inflation, which is already casting a shadow over economic forecasts.’
    • ‘The moon cast shadows of silver light, which lay in pools on the bedspread.’
    • ‘Before long I laid down and fell asleep, the sun still casting a red glow over the horizon.’
    • ‘The unremitting whiteness of the walls is anchored by a black marble floor that casts seductive glossy reflections and will age gracefully despite intense use.’
    • ‘Its rays of light cast eerie shadows that danced on the wall and the ceiling.’
    • ‘She's standing beside an electric sign, which casts a blue and red glow onto her willowy frame.’
    • ‘At the same time, higher interest rates are casting a shadow over the housing market.’
    • ‘The glow still present, the figure turned, revolving, and the dim light cast a monstrous shadow of it on the trunk of a tree nearby.’
    • ‘The sun cast a golden radiance upon the grey-green waters of the Atlantic Ocean.’
    • ‘We have new blinds to put up when we're finished decorating, but in the meantime we've tacked an old sheet across the window to stop people from looking in, and it's casting an eerie blue glow around the room.’
    emit, give off, send out, send forth, shed, radiate, diffuse, spread out
    form, create, make, produce, cause
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1[with adverbial of direction]Direct (one's eyes or a look) at something.
      ‘she cast down her eyes’
      [with two objects] ‘she cast him a desperate glance’
      • ‘When I looked out of the kitchen window these two were casting a watchful eye over the boys' activities.’
      • ‘I am older, wiser, and have trained myself to cast a critical cold eye on absolutely everything, including my past self.’
      • ‘He kept looking in my direction, casting hateful glares.’
      • ‘She hesitated, cast her eyes downward, and looked inexplicably sad.’
      • ‘Ryann cast him a mournful glance, before walking back to the kitchen.’
      • ‘The anxious looks they cast backwards were not directed at her.’
      • ‘Cooper crossed his arms over his chest, his eyes still cast downward.’
      • ‘Her touch, the hint - no more than that - of her body against mine, and the looks she occasionally cast up at me were all utterly, utterly feminine.’
      • ‘The doctor lowered his weapon as his eyes cast a cold look around the camp.’
      • ‘Before he left he cast a look around his immaculate house, his sharp eyes scanning every corner.’
      • ‘Judy narrowed her eyes, cast a critical look at the laughing woman standing next to a small, plump girl, and threw the picture in the box.’
      • ‘Jeremy cast a desperate look over his shoulder - where were the cameras?’
      • ‘Whenever colleagues walk by my desk, they cast worried looks my way.’
      • ‘I look at him and nod before casting my eyes to the ground.’
      • ‘Some were whispering furiously, casting scared glances over their shoulders.’
      • ‘Phin raised an eyebrow before shifting Steph off his shoulder and turning onto his side, casting Dev another thoughtful glance.’
      • ‘He walked up the stairs and found Rena sitting on his bed and her eyes were cast down.’
      • ‘The sailors cluster together nervously, casting frightened glances towards the nearby dark trees.’
      • ‘Toby shook his head and cast a quick, worried glance in Indy's direction.’
      • ‘Sydney looks away, casting her eyes to the side rather than returning the gaze.’
      • ‘We averted our eyes, from time to time casting a shifty glance in his direction.’
      direct, shoot, turn, throw, send, dart, bestow, give
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    2. 2.2Cause (uncertainty or disparagement) to be associated with something.
      ‘journalists cast doubt on the government's version of events’
      • ‘What happens when any party in the process notes questionable behavior that casts doubt on an individual's fitness for ministry?’
      • ‘The trials cast doubt on the official departmental line that the risk of a return of foot and mouth is ‘unlikely’.’
      • ‘From time to time people cast doubt on the ability of such ancient texts to speak to people so far removed in time.’
      • ‘Legal advisors also cast doubt on the usefulness of evidence arising from the disappeared witness.’
      • ‘Defence officials, however, have cast doubt on the authenticity of the pictures.’
      • ‘Both British and German intelligence officials cast doubt on the story.’
      • ‘But criminal law experts have cast doubt on whether her actions amount to a crime under English law, and a prosecution seems unlikely.’
      • ‘But they also cast aspersions on women who choose prostitution as a profession, and did not mention the men.’
      • ‘Parent groups also cast doubt on whether the idea was practical and whether it would have the desired effect.’
      • ‘Some scientific experts cast doubt on the letter's authenticity.’
      • ‘The larger cost, however, is that a great specter of doubt has been cast over almost every drug manufacturer in the country.’
      • ‘Right from the outset, the police cast doubt on the sabotage theory.’
      • ‘But other nutrition experts cast doubt on whether fasting should be reintroduced as a weight-loss technique.’
      • ‘In this case, the borrower's credit history has cast doubt on his repayment capacity.’
      • ‘Nor have I any intention of casting aspersions against whichever 20 writers make the list in January.’
      • ‘Recent evidence has cast doubt on the link between nitrates and stomach cancer.’
      • ‘Aspersions were also cast over his longevity at the highest level of the game.’
      • ‘The police cast doubt on this story by painstaking work with the records of mobile phone companies.’
      • ‘Recent studies cast doubt on the clinical value of school-based screening programs.’
      • ‘Research in Glasgow has cast doubt on the mental and physical tasks that police have been using for three years to try to crack down on what is feared to be an epidemic of drug driving.’
  • 3[with adverbial of direction] Discard.

    ‘he jumped in, casting caution to the wind’
    • ‘I would note, in addition, that Milton casts off metaphor in favor of ever more direct comments about families.’
    • ‘What percentage of the population has been cast away, not counted any more as unemployed, although they are unemployed, and in need of employment?’
    • ‘The English department is a living graveyard of all the dead and discredited ideologies that have been cast off by other departments.’
    • ‘His observations revealed that the two creatures were in fact one and the same: the adult develops inside the swimming larva, whose body is cast away when the adult takes up residence on the seabed.’
    • ‘Too often, graphic novels are cast off as nothing more than kid stuff, pronounced so be people who say the word comics with a sneer.’
    • ‘You don't know whether to cast caution to the wind and make an offer, or wait to see if something better comes along.’
    • ‘Once she casts off the self-parodying gloom of her early scenes, we see why she is so often called ‘luminous.’’
    • ‘But when the last one ended, that anxiety was cast away.’
    • ‘Plastic everything was cast away everywhere, along with old one-of-a-kind sneakers, worn out towels and pieces of clothing.’
    • ‘If I cast from my mind every malefaction our people have committed, I will become a malefactor myself.’
    • ‘Across the globe, attempts to cast off the shackles of capitalist oppression met similar fates.’
    • ‘Yet both courtyards call the resident gardeners to cast off clippers and broom and live in the garden itself: welcoming friends, soaking up sunshine, cherishing solitude.’
    • ‘All past acquaintanceships, friendships, love affairs, punch-ups, and the like must be cast from the judges' minds.’
    • ‘After a few months in the goldfields, he had cast off genteel reserve and adopted the confident, tough-guy pose suited to his new status as a brash fortune-seeker.’
    • ‘That was the year when, casting off her teen-pop image, she scandalised polite society with the video for her new single.’
    • ‘And those that are intended to amuse oneself at the cost of others should definitely be cast away on the rubbish heap.’
    • ‘Of late I have cast my caution to the winds and ventured an answer to this most impossible of questions.’
    discard, reject, cast away, throw away, cast out, throw out, dispense with, get rid of, dispose of, abandon
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    1. 3.1Shed (skin or horns) in the process of growth.
      ‘the antlers are cast each year’
      • ‘The moose had started to cast their horns about Christmas time.’
      • ‘The male roe deer casts its antlers every winter.’
      • ‘Lice seen on chairs, pillows, and hats are dead, sick, or elderly or are cast skins of lice - these cannot infect a person.’
      • ‘Bed bugs cast their skin each time they grow.’
      • ‘A film of liquid develops between the two layers of skin, which later makes it easier for the animal to cast its skin.’
      shed, discard, slough off, throw off, get rid of, let fall, let drop
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    2. 3.2(of a horse) lose (a shoe).
      • ‘Horsey people wonder how horses in books get ridden hundreds of miles without ever casting a shoe or eating more than a bit of grass during their time off.’
      • ‘When his horse cast two shoes, he stopped at a farm to have them replaced and dallied there afterward for several minutes to avoid going out in a heavy shower.’
      • ‘The pony had cast its shoe and must be shod before next day.’
      • ‘Under normal conditions, if a horse has cast a shoe, I can get out in a day or two and put it back on.’
      • ‘Tied to his saddle is a sponge, for cooling him down, and a bag packed with hi - tech equine electrolytes, snacks and the horse equivalent of a spare tyre, a rubber boot in case he casts a shoe.’
  • 4Shape (metal or other material) by pouring it into a mould while molten.

    ‘when hammered or cast, bronze could be made into tools’
    • ‘A variety of materials such as stone, metal, and sandy clays have been used to form the mould in which metal is cast.’
    • ‘Fondant can also be cast in moulds and allowed to set.’
    • ‘Brooches were made either by hammering a piece of metal into the right shape or by casting molten metal in a mould.’
    • ‘He stared into space as his teacher explained the principles of casting metal into various shapes.’
    • ‘Back in 1856, he patented a steel-making process for casting strip steel.’
    • ‘It casts molten silicon in moulds, just as metal components are cast.’
    • ‘Aluminum is one of the few metals that can be cast by all of the processes used in casting metals.’
    • ‘The background depicts a worker casting metal in a foundry's workshop.’
    • ‘Cast iron is very versatile, as it can be poured into moulds when molten and cast into complicated shapes, but is very brittle.’
    • ‘Virtually all copper alloys can be cast successfully by the centrifugal casting process.’
    • ‘Pewter was used to make cheap jewellery and was cast in moulds made from antler, engraved Roman tiles and clay, although stamped pewter jewellery was also made.’
    • ‘It was also popular as a material for ornamentation, being versatile and easily shaped or cast into different patterns.’
    • ‘Steel can be cast into bars, strips, sheets, nails, spikes, wire, rods or pipes as needed by the end user.’
    mould, fashion, form, shape, model
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    1. 4.1Make (a moulded object) by casting metal.
      ‘a bell was cast for the church’
      • ‘In those days type was cast in hot metal on Linotype machines and if power was off, the metal went cold.’
      • ‘He appears to have devised a successful mould for casting regularly sized and spaced metal type, a heavy ink that would adhere to this type, and a variation of a press that would give an impression on paper.’
      • ‘And it is hoped the bells, which are to be cast in Holland, will be heard for the first time in September on the 150th anniversary of the founding of the village.’
      • ‘From these moulds he could then cast waxes to use as the masters for the bronze casting.’
      • ‘The dog, cast in bronze by a local sculptor, was erected in 1932 to commemorate the district's pioneer settlers.’
      • ‘Visitors were also shown vases that were cast from the same material and turned on a wood lathe.’
      • ‘The source for this date is found in a petition for a bell to be cast in the year 840.’
      • ‘Simple shapes such as plates and spoons could be cast in a two-part mould, but complex forms such as tankards or flagons needed multi-part moulds.’
      • ‘Made in the last year of Hanson's life, this was the artist's first sculpture cast in bronze.’
      • ‘Pins, buckles and discs were all being cast, but the moulds were mainly for penannular brooches.’
      • ‘The figurine could have been cast from a clay mould made with a bronze fitting of a jug handle or a steelyard weight.’
      • ‘When cast in bronze, the statue is expected to weigh a tonne.’
      • ‘The Lord Lieutenant of East Yorkshire, Richard Marriott, travelled down to the foundry where the six bells have been cast to inspect them for himself.’
      • ‘Bells can be hollowed from wood or made from glass or ceramics, but most are cast or forged from metal.’
      • ‘She then has these objects cast in metal to make them permanent.’
      • ‘Apart from being very difficult to cast a solid bronze figure without distortion, the weight would be a major problem.’
      • ‘A plaster mold was made when the body parts were to be cast in bronze metal because molten bronze would destroy a rubber mold.’
      • ‘Later he had his works cast in bronze and sometimes added elements in welded steel.’
      • ‘For nearly a century, the text to be printed was cast in hot metal, using monotype to set single characters or linotype to set text line by line.’
      • ‘Those who could afford it wore medals struck in silver, but the ordinary people purchased medals cast in less expensive metals.’
    2. 4.2Arrange and present in a specified form or style.
      ‘he issued statements cast in tones of reason’
      • ‘You don't see reporters cast in a good light anymore.’
      • ‘First, the rhetoric requires motherhood to be cast in unrealistically negative terms.’
      • ‘Will the resident antipathy towards America in other spheres be cast in the same style?’
      • ‘He has been cast in a certain way by his silence because he thought the right thing to do was to work with the police and not come on your show.’
      • ‘Behavior can usually be cast in positive or negative terms.’
  • 5Register (a vote)

    ‘votes have been cast in 40 per cent of the seats’
    • ‘A vast number of early votes and absentee votes have been cast.’
    • ‘Bolton election staff have started opening postal ballots already cast by voters in the General Election.’
    • ‘The 488 voters cast 2,226 votes for 454 different books about Montana.’
    • ‘The company needs to gain 75 per cent of the vote that is cast at a general meeting in August.’
    • ‘On Saturday week, 600,000 young people will cast their first ever vote in a federal election.’
    • ‘Each person will have their own unique polling number which will give them access to each service, ensuring that fraudulent votes cannot be cast.’
    • ‘Reaching the age of eighteen was quite significant for me, as it allowed me the opportunity to cast my first parliamentary vote.’
    • ‘The poll was run from the council's website and votes could be cast either by computer or a mobile phone.’
    • ‘The votes have been cast and the winners of the Croydon Champion Art Challenge have been chosen.’
    • ‘By lunchtime, across East Timor, four out of five of those who had registered had cast their votes.’
    • ‘Ballot boxes will be left to gather dust in the June elections, as every vote will be cast by post.’
    • ‘Fears that insufficient votes would be cast persisted up until the referendum took place on February 20.’
    • ‘Postal votes can be cast any time until and including June 10, providing they are received by 10 pm at the address on the return envelope.’
    • ‘Such activities disenfranchise those who properly register to vote and cast valid ballots.’
    • ‘The votes have been cast and the deadline of May 15 has long passed.’
    • ‘That forces us to consider the votes that were not cast.’
    • ‘It is, of course, utterly presumptuous to declare the race over before a single vote has been cast.’
    • ‘A total of 11,417 votes were cast in favour of a strike and 4,316 were cast against.’
    • ‘The bill is silent on how votes will be cast, including the possibility of postal ballots.’
    • ‘This is the first time that the union has has cast such a vote.’
    register, record, enter, file, lodge, post, set down, vote
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  • 6Cause (a magic spell) to take effect.

    ‘the witch cast a spell on her to turn her into a beast’
    figurative ‘the city casts a spell on the visitor’
    • ‘Without adequate meditation, she wouldn't have enough magic energy to cast a spell.’
    • ‘Helen said that if someone needed a spell she would cast one provided there was a good enough reason.’
    • ‘A pint-sized Messiah with scary eyes and an unkempt beard, he throws tantrums rather than casting a spell.’
    • ‘By the time I came to work for Michael and Jan, their eighty acres had cast such a spell on them that they did not feel at ease anywhere else.’
    • ‘I shall cast a magic spell to transport us from the confines of these walls!’
    • ‘An albino displayed in Paris in 1744 at an exhibition cast such a spell over the public that even Voltaire wrote an extensive description of the case.’
    • ‘Her child, who would be born with the ability to wield magic, would not cast a single spell until certain conditions were met.’
    • ‘The spell that had been cast over him was gone and she'd been the one to break it.’
    • ‘A spell will be cast and he will become a squirrel for the rest of his life.’
    • ‘Inside the ‘wagon’ it lay bare except for some crates of different things used for casting spells.’
    • ‘She then casts a sleep spell on the soldiers, too see what happens next.’
    • ‘As depicted in a variety of Chinese-language thrillers, magic spells are cast by drawing special words or symbols on a piece of paper or in the air.’
    • ‘He was running low on his magic, but he was determined to cast one more spell.’
    • ‘If all spells could be cast with just the wave of a hand, only chaos would come from it.’
    • ‘I had tried to cast the very spell I had vowed never to use again on another human.’
    • ‘In Corsica it's difficult to decide whether it's the coastline or the interior which casts the strongest spell.’
    • ‘Offering these items is a sign of friendliness on the part of those who give them, while accepting or requesting them indicates trust that a spell has not been cast over them.’
    • ‘One of these spells, when cast successfully, can pretty well turn the tide of battle.’
    • ‘A marriage certificate does not cast a magic spell of protection.’
    • ‘But, Laura says, spells must not be cast to do harm.’
    bewitch, enchant
    curse, jinx, witch
    point the bone at
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  • 7Calculate and record details of (a horoscope)

    ‘you can look at the star chart cast at somebody's birth’
    • ‘To cast your horoscope, your exact time, place, and date of birth is required.’
    • ‘It contains the blank forms/charts and instructions on how to cast your own natal chart.’
    • ‘By 500BC, evidence of a Zodiac had been found and introduced, and personal horoscopes were being cast.’
    • ‘At the end I asked her if I could cast her horoscope.’
    • ‘As Nick himself puts it, if this is how one sees astrology ‘one may just as easily roll a set of astro-dice as go to the bother of casting a horoscope’.’
    calculate, devise, compute, reckon, determine, assess, work out, formulate, record, write
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  • 8[no object, usually with adverbial of direction] (in country dancing) change one's position by moving a certain number of places in a certain direction along the outside of the line in which one is dancing.

    ‘cross the set and cast down one place’
    • ‘Then the boy and the girl would cast down and circle with the bottom couple.’
    • ‘Bottom couple dance together up the middle of the set, and cast out and down the outside back to places.’
    • ‘Come back up to where you started and cast round one couple to progress.’
  • 9Hunting
    [no object] (of a dog) search in different directions for a lost scent.

    ‘the dog cast furiously for the vanished rabbit’
    • ‘The dogs were casting about, in search of a scent that was not there, obviously distressed.’
    • ‘This gave the Field a chance to catch up while the hounds cast back and picked up the line without help from the Master.’
    • ‘Horses and men were standing all close together, while the hounds were casting for a scent.’
    • ‘He sat up and looked to where the dogs cast for his trail.’
    • ‘Both dogs were casting in front of me when a mountain quail flushed from between my legs.’
    • ‘We have a special field Master, who is giving a commentary to those who are introduced to it to explain to them why the hounds are casting, what they are doing and all the difficulties and so forth.’
    1. 9.1[with object]Let loose (hounds) on a scent.
      ‘casting the hounds into cover, we stood and listened’
      • ‘If the hounds do not by themselves recover the line, the huntsman will try to assist by ‘em>casting’ the pack in the direction which his experience tells him that the hare may have taken.’
      • ‘Red-coated huntsmen drive and cast the dogs into promising spots with whoops and short blasts from a small fox horn.’
      • ‘Casting the hounds into the cover we stood on the edge of a steep gorge and listened for a sound of the hounds working.’
      • ‘The huntsman casts the hounds usually with the wind at his back.’
      • ‘When the pack loses the scent, the huntsman will cast the hounds again.’
  • 10Immobilize (an animal, especially a cow) by using a rope to cause it to fall on its side.

    • ‘Casting the cow and placing her in dorsal recumbency may greatly facilitate extension of the fetal head.’
    • ‘Small animals may be cast by placing a lark's head hitch around the thorax and abdomen.’
    • ‘If that had not worked we would have used ropes to cast the cow.’


  • 1An object made by shaping molten metal or similar material in a mould.

    ‘bronze casts of the sculpture’
    • ‘A second bronze cast of the statue is at the top of the stairs in the Century Association.’
    • ‘The room has a great light fixture, by Artemide, and truly original artwork in the cast of a broken piano that artist Leesa French found in a rubbish tip.’
    • ‘Maudslay must also have seen the superb casts of European sculptures exhibited in the Architectural Courts of the South Kensington Museum, which had opened in 1873.’
    • ‘Greece has promised to make casts of the sculptures for the British Museum and bear all the costs of returning them to Athens.’
    • ‘His multi-figure bronze casts portray a breadline, an Appalachian farm couple and a man listening to one of FDR's fireside chats.’
    • ‘Sonja Landweer is exhibiting a series of bronze casts taken from ceramic moulds.’
    • ‘There is no evidence of retouching to the cast, which suggests that the mould was of the highest quality.’
    • ‘Previously, like Rodin and his followers, Brancusi had modelled his sculptures in clay or plaster and then made bronze casts.’
    • ‘Among the other five pieces here are two compositions that are each shown in two versions - the original assemblage and a bronze cast.’
    • ‘It has casts of virtually all his sculptural work.’
    • ‘Each stage is also designated by a set of realistic casts of figures being born, getting married and so forth.’
    • ‘After the metal has cooled, the mould is broken open and the solid cast is now ready for use.’
    • ‘Peer at the piece very closely and you may just make out the traces of what look like scars on the surface of the cellulose paint which coats these two huge bronze casts.’
    • ‘He once made a bronze cast of his own hand, which he used to grip a sapling.’
    • ‘The bronze depicted here is one of eight casts created in 1955.’
    • ‘They're everywhere; his signature, their presence captured in Snowdon's great 1988 photograph and in those ubiquitous casts in plaster and bronze.’
    • ‘However there is more than meets the eye as the sculpture is actually a bronze cast realistically painted.’
    • ‘The garden's been maintained as she kept it and is full of her sculptures: from 1958, she kept back artist's casts of many of her bronzes, placing them here.’
    • ‘The rooms I like best are the ones that contain casts of all sorts of astonishing statues, monuments and sections of famous architecture.’
    1. 1.1A mould used to make an object by casting.
      ‘the artist's casts and moulds became the property of the museum’
      • ‘Model eggs were made of plaster-of-Paris from casts of real cowbird eggs and painted with acrylic paints and polyurethane to mimic real cowbird eggs.’
      • ‘The casts were then cut open and used as templates; the assemblages of welded rods are three-dimensional sketches of individuals in zigzags of bright white metal.’
      • ‘It is such a gratifying and easy task to chat about life and times using literary works as a basis, just as it is more gratifying and easier to copy from a plaster cast than to draw a living body.’
      • ‘These sheets are fed into large presses with casts shaped into a particular body panel, like a door, bonnet roof and bodies.’
      • ‘The models began life sculpted in clay, before a plaster cast was used to mould the final version in glass fibre, with the knight and the totem pole finished to look like bronze, the helmet in iron.’
      • ‘Molten metal flows in a white-hot stream into the giant cast for one of York Minster's six new bells.’
      • ‘Foundry staff, working on the new York Minster bells, pour molten metal into an underground cast.’
      • ‘When a metal enters a cast, it may appear to flow uniformly.’
      • ‘When Elgin first went to Athens, his intention was simply to make a plaster cast of the sculptures.’
      • ‘The break turned out to be fairly minor, as these things go, and since the bone was in a stabilised position, I didn't even need a cast.’
      mould, die, form, matrix, shape, casting, template, pattern, frame
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2A bandage stiffened with plaster of Paris, moulded to the shape of a limb that is broken and used to support and protect it.
      ‘I had to spend a month in a cast’
      • ‘At this point I noticed that the girl, who was about 18 years old, had her left leg in a cast from above the thigh to the bottom of her foot.’
      • ‘Some members of this profession specialize in a narrow range of conditions, for example, bonesetters, who make casts and medicines for broken limbs.’
      • ‘I am having the plaster cast removed at the end of the week so I will be okay.’
      • ‘In fact, he was so desperate to get back on to his bike that we had to tell the doctor a little lie to persuade him to remove the plaster cast.’
      • ‘Orthopedic technologists traditionally remove casts and prepare types of traction.’
      • ‘After checking the x-rays, Rachael can see the wrist is broken and Sammy will need a plaster cast fitted.’
      • ‘We got him out of the plaster cast and he's been able to move his wrist freely at a very early stage.’
      • ‘Why aren't some types of broken bones put in casts right away?’
      • ‘Just out of his body cast and into a metal brace, Patchen still lacked mobility and so began to look around for a house nearby.’
      • ‘They put a plaster cast on my foot, right up to my knee.’
      • ‘The girl was totally wrapped in casts and bandages.’
      • ‘I had just finished applying a cast to her fractured wrist.’
      • ‘He then saw a doctor, had his old plaster cast removed, had his leg re-plastered, had another x-ray and finally saw the doctor again, who checked the x-rays and told him he could go home - all of this in just under two hours.’
      • ‘Every six weeks she had to go to hospital and have the casts changed under general anaesthetic to accommodate her growing frame.’
      • ‘The guy had one arm in a plaster cast and he's lucky it's not two now.’
      • ‘Not all skiing accidents can be mended with a plaster cast or bandage.’
      • ‘Joshua, who is encased from hip to neck in a plaster cast to protect his weak bones, had a huge smile on his face throughout’
      • ‘Mom was lying in her bed, arm in a cast, and bandage on her forehead.’
      • ‘He fractured four bones in his wrist and will wear a cast for three months before beginning physical therapy.’
      • ‘He has had the cast removed from his broken arm and is now working on building up the muscle and on his overall conditioning.’
  • 2An act of throwing something forcefully.

    ‘he grabbed a spear for a third cast’
    • ‘His arm goes back for a mighty cast of the lance.’
    1. 2.1Fishing A throw of a fishing line.
      ‘I swung the rod out for a cast’
      • ‘After a few hopeful short casts, I punched out as far as possible, to the deeper channel, about twenty yards off the sandbar.’
      • ‘First cast, the fly landed lightly, then drifted downstream for about three yards.’
      • ‘In the next four casts, I had four more pike averaging some six pounds.’
      • ‘On the third cast, I could see a wake behind the fly, but ran out of water before the fish would take.’
      • ‘After about ten casts Alf caught a trout and was delighted.’
    2. 2.2British The leader of a fishing line.
    3. 2.3archaic A throw or a number thrown at dice.
      ‘'tis no winning cast’
      • ‘Players use the dice to score points without losing all their chips but a single strategic play of a card or lucky cast of the dice can turn the game around.’
      • ‘When they have lost all their money they will play for their houses, their land, and their wives even, whose destiny often depends on a cast of the dice.’
      • ‘His own fault he hides, as a cheat hides an unlucky cast of the die.’
  • 3[in singular], [with adjective or noun modifier] The form or appearance of something, especially someone's features or complexion.

    ‘she had a somewhat masculine cast of countenance’
    ‘the colours he wore emphasized the olive cast of his skin’
    • ‘She paused to look at him, and noticed something strange, an odd cast to his features.’
    • ‘He has a Slavic cast of feature, which he acknowledges helps him to adopt a cloak of invisibility.’
    • ‘Most of the other, longer-wavelength colors of the Sun pass directly through the air, giving the Sun a yellowish cast.’
    • ‘He was eerily calm all of a sudden, but had a sinister cast to his features as he smirked.’
    • ‘He had been picked for the Western cast of his features and his ability to follow orders.’
    • ‘The leaves often take on a bronze cast, making this plant all the more interesting.’
    1. 3.1The character of something.
      ‘this question is for minds of a more philosophical cast than mine’
      • ‘While much of the information Patterson covers is not new ground, there is a decidedly different cast to her research.’
      • ‘It is most satisfying to the scientific cast of mind to suppose that a rule which is confirmed whenever it is tested will apply generally in all cases in which the relevant conditions are met.’
      • ‘Only die-hards or those of a philosophical cast of mind fail to see the futility of that.’
      • ‘Needless to say, this puts a substantially different cast on things.’
      • ‘His voice took on a low and serious cast.’
      • ‘This leads to a confusion about the philosophical cast of mind of most people who vote Democrat.’
      type, sort, kind, variety, class, style, stamp, nature, manner, pattern, grain, mould, ilk, kidney, strain, brand, genre
      View synonyms
  • 4A slight squint.

    ‘he had a cast in one eye’
    • ‘The man spoke with a slushy, unfamiliar accent; his nose was splayed to the left and he had a cast in his right eye.’
    • ‘She was short, with heavy thighs, bad legs, and a cast in one eye.’
    • ‘He wore glasses to correct a slight cast and would never use one word where a novel would do.’
    squint, cross-eyes
    View synonyms
  • 5

    short for worm cast
    • ‘There is one exception to this behaviour, and that is the specialised hermit crab Parugrita, which uses a crack in the reef or a discarded tubeworm cast as a home.’
    • ‘The bacterial population of a cast is much greater than the bacterial population of either ingested soil, or the earthworm's gut.’
    • ‘The removal of a cast leaves the channel open to direct water infiltration and might expose the worm to direct sunlight.’
    • ‘This is the yellow-faced blenny, often found in old tubeworm casts and even discarded shells.’
  • 6A pellet regurgitated by a hawk or owl.

  • 7Hunting
    A wide search made by a hound or pack of hounds to find a trail.

    • ‘It is always great impertinence in a huntsman to pretend to make a cast himself, before the hounds have made theirs.’
    1. 7.1Australian, NZ A wide sweep made by a sheepdog in mustering sheep.
  • 8rare A pair or group of hawks or falcons.

    ‘he gave one thousand pounds for a cast of hawks’
    • ‘John recommended to me a cast of hawks which he had at the Hall.’
    • ‘An eyrie has been observed as long established, from which a gentleman usually obtained his cast of hawks.’
    • ‘He had a cast of hawks himself, and expected Lord Orford's falconer on the next morning with a cast and a half more.’
    • ‘In nature, Professor Daniels says, "crows would definitely, through teamwork and working together, shoo off a cast of hawks".’
    • ‘A cast of hawks, so low I could touch their wings, fly around me.’
    • ‘I was in the chamber taking orders about a cast of hawks.’


  • be cast in a —— mould

    • (of a person) be of the type specified.

      ‘he was cast in a cautious mould’
      • ‘His arrest and deportation in 1907 was his first baptism in fire from which he emerged a high-minded statesman cast in a heroic mould.’
      • ‘In this respect, he was cast in a similar mould to Leonardo da Vinci.’
      • ‘His philosophy, his syntax, his lifestyle are all cast in a Biblical mold.’
      • ‘Jenkins provides an extremely expressive treatment to Lil Armstrong's ‘Brown Gal’ with Doc Cheatham's trumpet firmly cast in a Louis Armstrong mold.’
      • ‘Our thinking throughout the Session of 1943 was cast in a serious mold, and the legislation it developed was geared to enabling the State of California and its people to make an outstanding contribution to victory and peace.’
      • ‘From cradle to grave one is cast in the mould of fascismo and there can be no escape.’
      • ‘On issues of economic and social policy he was, as an American diplomat put it, ‘cast in an Edwardian mould’.’
      • ‘He might have been cast in the mould of Baudelaire and Mallarmé, but it was Jean-Jacques Rousseau who was Finlay's real leading light.’
      • ‘Hartson, cast in much the same mould as Hughes, put Wales on their way in Helsinki with the opener before Spurs' Simon Davies sealed victory 18 minutes from time.’
      • ‘An adamantine character cast in a republican mold helped anchor his pedestal in the national pantheon.’
  • cast one's bread upon the waters

    • Do good without expecting gratitude or reward.

      ‘if you don't cast your bread upon the waters, it won't come back to you when you need it most’
      • ‘In short, in true biblical fashion, the homily to which we are being treated is that we should cast our bread upon the waters in the hope - after not too many days - of hauling in a high-tech bakery!’
      • ‘When we cast our bread upon the waters, we can presume the someone downstream whose face we may never see will benefit from our action, even as we enjoy the gifts sent to us from a donor upstream.’
      • ‘That is why it has always been my greatest desire to get these poems out and to cast my bread upon the waters so to speak.’
      • ‘We are to cast our bread upon the waters, which may seem fruitless.’
      • ‘The Bible tells us to cast our bread upon the waters and it will return to us.’
      • ‘If you don't cast your bread upon the waters, it can't come back to you when you need it most.’
      • ‘Cast your bread upon the waters, but do it confidently, not hesitatingly, remembering that you cast your bread upon the waters of baptism.’
      • ‘Once we have cast our bread upon the waters, the most we can do is wait.’
      • ‘The apostle had cast his bread upon the waters of Ilissus and Cephisus to find it after many days.’
      • ‘Once you've cast your bread upon the waters, don't wait around for the responses to come back.’
      • ‘Anyway, the Bible enjoins us to cast our bread upon the waters, and in this case I got the wet bread back thirty years later.’
      • ‘We will cast our bread upon the waters and cheer the Chargers all the way.’
      • ‘In my opinion Andy has cast his bread upon the waters, and according to the Good Book, it should come back to him seven-fold one of these days.’
      • ‘He sowed living seed, and he expected to reap a harvest from it; he cast his bread upon the waters, and he means to search and watch till he finds it again.’
      • ‘He cast his bread upon the waters, and deservedly it was returned to him in the love and affection of his family and friends.’
      • ‘To be on the safe side, we know on what side our bread is buttered, and we cast our bread upon the waters to ensure a fair share for all.’
      • ‘But she cast her bread upon the waters by giving everyone she met her time and her kindness.’
      • ‘When we minister to the saints, when we cast our bread upon the waters, when we honor Him and His word, God will certainly bless us.’
      • ‘Often the best I can do personally is to cast my bread upon the waters and hope that it will feed somebody.’
      • ‘And we cast our bread upon the waters and fed the birds - ducks, swans, and fat pigeons on the banks.’
  • cast one's eyes over

    • Have a quick appraising look at.

      ‘he was invited to cast his eyes over the exhibition’
      • ‘Investors who may be keen on some exposure to the retail sector should perhaps cast their eyes over grocers, which are generally fairly resilient to economic downturns.’
      • ‘However, having cast their eyes over a video of the incident, the Football Association have now dismissed his appeal.’
      • ‘The store's turmoil has led to a number of potential buyers casting their eyes over the company.’
      • ‘All the member had to do was cast his eyes over the bill in front of him.’
      • ‘Huddles of people jostled around display boards to cast their eyes over proposals including raising the old railway bridge and building a new footbridge over the canal, allowing boats to travel its length.’
      • ‘That would give the administrators time to cast their eyes over the offers before Saturday, when it will finally be decided whether the club can be saved.’
      • ‘Representatives from local hockey clubs have been invited to attend to cast their eyes over the eight teams taking part.’
      • ‘We knew we were in for a treat as soon as we cast our eyes over the bar menu.’
      • ‘Involuntarily, she stepped in, biting the inside of her cheek apprehensively and casting her eyes over the rows of neatly aligned desks in the room.’
      • ‘I cast my eyes over the chocolate fabric of my knee-length pencil skirt for creases, finding none, and dipped my gaze to the conservative black of my kitten heels to check for scuff marks, which were also absent.’
  • cast light on

  • cast lots

  • cast one's mind back

    • Think back to a particular event or time.

      ‘he cast his mind back to the fatal evening’
      • ‘I was casting my mind back to that day when I wrote 4,000 words plus, at the end of which my brain had turned to sludge.’
      • ‘Maeve casts her mind back to the night Frances was crowned the Rose of Sligo and speaks with pride of her youngest daughter.’
      • ‘Now cast your mind back to February and March of this year when the future of a football club and the hopes and dreams of thousands of fans hung in the balance.’
      • ‘If you think you are feeling the pinch of the cold January breeze this year, then take heart and cast your mind back to York winters past.’
      • ‘Let's cast our mind back to other people who have been named and shamed - including John Leslie, the Hamiltons and Matthew Kelly - only to find out that they were innocent.’
      • ‘I am sure that if the letter writer casts their mind back to their teenage years, they did not become a devil at 13 and an angel at 19.’
      • ‘I should have cast my mind back to the months I spent travelling around Turkey.’
      • ‘There would have been people out and about in the seafront area on the night he was attacked and we are asking people to cast their mind back to Friday, September 17 and try and remember if they saw John.’
      • ‘Naturally enough, such an important date made me cast my mind back in an attempt to remember the moment I received my A-level results, some twelve years ago.’
      • ‘I cast my mind back to that roomful of smart, polished people of position, all radiating effortless composure and calm confidence, walking around, smiling and nodding at each other.’
  • cast the (or one's) net

    • Search for suitable options or candidates in a specified way.

      ‘Martin vowed he would cast the net far and wide in the search for the best person’
      ‘he is prepared to cast his net wide to find workable solutions’
      • ‘At the same time, Damascus cast its net out for allies.’
      • ‘The trick is to know where to cast the net.’
      • ‘That enables the company to cast its net across its 300-plus employees.’
      • ‘In the beginning we cast our net quiet wide, with people coming from West Cumbria to work here.’
      • ‘Tim Easterby casts his net wide for winners tomorrow.’
      • ‘The Congress cast its net more widely to effect a more general equilibrium.’
      • ‘The solution is to cast your net broadly, targeting a large number of less popular keywords.’
      • ‘Detective Inspector Pete Martin said: "We have to cast our net over a huge area".’
      • ‘With fewer girls in Mae Sai leaving for the bright lights of Bangkok, agents have cast their nets wider.’
      • ‘The book casts its net widely, aiming at different demographics.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • cast about (or around or round)

    • Search far and wide (physically or mentally)

      ‘he is restlessly casting about for novelties’
      • ‘The American obsession with dieting dates back to 1961, when a housewife who was seriously obese began casting around for diets.’
      • ‘And, if one casts around the world today, one notices the two powers with the worst prospects are the ones most advanced in their post-religiosity.’
      • ‘He casts around for an answer but they would all have to start with ‘I am ‘and he just can't do it.’
      • ‘Following the phenomenal success of both The Mummy and The Mummy Returns, writer/director Stephen Sommers was casting around for a change of pace.’
      • ‘When the town casts around for someone to blame Vernon is the best available candidate.’
      • ‘This is an exciting prospect for someone who's casting around for something to do when her contract's up.’
      • ‘While I've been casting around for reasons to undergo blood transfusions, my father took the time to become genuinely ill.’
      • ‘I know it is completely unrealistic, because formally I am not searching, I cast about with my eyes.’
      • ‘A biographer in search of a subject must usually cast about among people who have achieved something.’
      • ‘He champions what looks suspiciously like a lost cause, courts clubs who have no sympathy for his plight and casts about for players who don't exist.’
  • be cast away

    • Be stranded after a shipwreck.

      ‘he returned home three years after being cast away on the island’
      • ‘Already trapped in Fenno-arevo was a small party of slave traders who had also had the misfortune to be cast away on Madagascar's inhospitable south coast after an encounter with pirates.’
      • ‘Sometimes, like in a scene on the Cayman Islands when he meets an old man who has been cast away, it seems as if he might spare a paragraph or two for an emotional response.’
      • ‘While heading home to England, he is cast away on an island, which its geographical proximity to the Americas closely resembles the one in Crusoe.’
      • ‘Guests on the programme select the luxury item they would need to make their lives a little easier if they were cast away.’
      • ‘She plays a spoiled rich wife cast away on a desert island with her hunk of a servant, and they seem to smack each other around a lot.’
      • ‘If you are going to be cast away, Robinson Crusoe island is a good place to be.’
      • ‘John was cast away on the island of Patmos.’
      • ‘Every year a school class picked at random will be cast away on an abandoned island to fight it out amongst themselves.’
      • ‘Cast away once, onto the desert island, he finds himself cast away again, by his former love.’
      shipwreck, wreck
      strand, leave stranded, maroon, cast ashore, abandon, leave behind, leave
      leave high and dry
      View synonyms
  • be cast down

    • Feel depressed.

      ‘she was greatly cast down by abusive criticism of her novels’
      • ‘Revived by American aid and by its own exertions, western Germany was more transformed by post-war economic and psychological recovery than it had been cast down by military defeat.’
      • ‘After a brief fillip Wall Street went into retreat, cast down by sombre corporate trading news from a range of companies.’
      • ‘This doesn't mean I was a bully, it was just that people couldn't get me down the way other teens would be cast down.’
      • ‘Far from being cast down by the goal, England concentrated on reaching half-time without falling further behind before switching to the attack with renewed vigour.’
      • ‘The joyful ones also tend to draw more friends, who would rather bathe in the sunshine of happiness than to be cast down into a gloomy depression.’
      • ‘Take advantage of opportunities, don't be cast down, but rise to the challenge if it does occur’
      • ‘They were a group of men who were very distressed, very cast down by their illness and its difficulties.’
      • ‘After the birth of Ross, both were cast down and depressed.’
      • ‘I was either cast down and disappointed, or raised up and elated, depending on whether I was feeling better or worse.’
      depressed, downcast, unhappy, sad, miserable, gloomy, down, low, blue, melancholy, doleful, mournful
      dejected, dispirited, discouraged, disheartened, downhearted, demoralized, daunted, dismayed, desolate, disconsolate, crestfallen, crushed, sapped, shaken, undermined, despondent, weighed down, oppressed, wretched
      View synonyms
  • cast off (or cast something off)

    • 1Knitting
      Take the stitches off the needle by looping each over the next to finish the edge.

      ‘when the piece of knitting is long enough, cast off’
      ‘cast off a few stitches at the armhole’
      • ‘Or perhaps a hand-knitted sweater that looks like granny just cast it off her knitting needles for her favourite grandson?’
      • ‘It does feel good to cast off that last stitch and know that there's only a few ends to weave in.’
      • ‘It was just an experiment piece - where I tried to remember how to knit, purl, cast off, increase and decrease etc.’
      • ‘It's a bit nerve-wracking, because you can really see the frill until after the neck edge is cast off.’
      • ‘If I were to do it again, I think that I would rework the button band so that I picked up and knitted 5 rows before casting off.’
      • ‘Sleeves - why does the pattern tell me to mark the rows and then knit 4 or 5 more rows before casting off?’
      • ‘Somewhere over the Atlantic on Thursday night, I cast off the last stitch.’
    • 2Set a boat or ship free from her moorings.

      ‘the boatmen cast off and rowed downriver’
      • ‘Unfortunately they forgot to cast off the mooring line.’
      • ‘Joined by ABBM Peter Horne, POMT Chris Shred and CPL Bert Lancaster he cast off and headed to a spot six nautical miles north-north-west of Thursday Island.’
      • ‘Ropes were cast off and stevedores moved in with bargepoles to keep the hull clear of the wharf.’
      • ‘The ship gave a sudden lurch as the lines were cast off, and began sliding away from the dock in such a way that it seemed the dock itself was receding from them.’
      • ‘No person shall launch or beach a boat or weigh anchor or cast off when the Department has by posting an order prohibiting the same.’
      • ‘As the last lines were cast off the ship edged away from the wharf.’
      • ‘By the time that safety was reached Fitz had picked up the shivering victim, cast off the mooring lines and was motoring out of the marina.’
      • ‘Prehistoric seafarers casting off from their home islands to settle elsewhere would have been sure to take along breadfruit trees, which provide an abundance of fruit.’
      • ‘On August 2, 2003 we cast off from the port of Narssaq, southern Greenland.’
      • ‘He cranked the engine, cast off the bow and stern lines, and moved quickly out of the harbor.’
      • ‘After trimming the boat, we cast off, Len taking his preferred spot up front, where he can enjoy the rhythm of paddling without the worry of steering.’
      1. 2.1(of a boat or ship) be set free from her moorings.
        ‘the ferry cast off and made a beeline for the pier’
        • ‘Some require riverboats to cast off from shore before gaming can begin.’
        • ‘It's anchors away as the Fleetwood to Knott End ferry service casts off for its yearly service across the Wyre estuary.’
        • ‘The amphibious transport, with 260 sailors and soldiers on board, cast off from the Oil Wharf on May 12.’
        • ‘At the otherwise silent hotel, I am woken at 6.30 am by the screech of gulls as the mackerel boats cast off from the harbour and head out on the early-morning tide.’
        • ‘He had come to this conclusion about five minutes into his journey, just after the ship had cast off from the dock.’
        • ‘Jarrod and Nicola were just some of the hundreds of RAN men and women who shared some tearful minutes on the wharf before the warship cast off.’
        • ‘Then the MV Pharos cast off, sailing away from the pier for the last time, with the piper playing on deck.’
        • ‘Just under an hour later Ironheart cast off from its moorings and slipped out into the current.’
        • ‘They aimed to beach her, but the inrush of water was too great and the tugs had to cast off as she sank to the sandy bottom at 10.30 pm.’
    • 3Let loose a hunting hound or hawk.

    • 4Printing
      Estimate the space that will be taken in print by manuscript copy.

      • ‘The master printer would decide whether the text would be set into type by a single compositor or by a number working simultaneously, in which case the copy would have to be cast off.’
  • cast someone off

    • Exclude someone from a relationship.

      ‘you told me your family had cast you off’
      • ‘Do you plan to just cast me off when you're finished like all the others?’
      • ‘His mother cast him off because he did not meet her expectations.’
      • ‘Mr Peggotty sets out to find her, following her through many countries, and finally recovering her after she has been cast off by Steerforth.’
      • ‘Do not cast me off, do not forsake me, O God of my salvation!’
      • ‘He is eventually ordered to leave her to follow his destiny of founding a new Troy, whereupon he casts her off with tragic consequences.’
      • ‘She used him to get what she wanted and then cast him off.’
      • ‘We haven't heard the last of him, and I can't see how Byers can cast him off now.’
      • ‘If he was so foolish as to cast you off, he doesn't deserve you anyway.’
      • ‘His lover makes him wear a long blonde wig, and cruelly casts him off when he's dressed as a man.’
      • ‘Holt lived, and knew pleasure, because his father had cast him off.’
  • cast on (or cast something on)

    • Make the first row of a specified number of loops on the needle.

      ‘cast on and knit a few rows of stocking stitch’
      ‘cast on 14 stitches’
      • ‘I'm doing the socks on 6 ply yarns so I only have to follow the pattern and cast on 64 stitches.’
      • ‘Julie cast on in record time, and should be knitting fair isles in no time.’
      • ‘Cast on 52 stitches at end of next row to complete armhole shaping.’
      • ‘Using 2 needles, cast on 98(110:134:146:158:170) stitches.’
  • cast something up

    • 1(of the sea) deposit something on the shore.

      ‘she would collect objects cast up by the tides’
      • ‘December storms had beaten her to and fro and at last the sea had cast her up onto the shingle.’
      • ‘But gourd seeds would not germinate if cast up on a beach; human intervention would be required.’
      • ‘There is a sense that the coral looked better where it used to be, either living or cast up as a skeleton on a coral beach somewhere.’
      • ‘One evening, sitting on an upturned boat cast up by the tide, I watched four old women shout derision at a carful of expensive-looking twenty-somethings.’
    • 2Add up figures.

      ‘he could cast up intricate accounts in his head’
      • ‘I now began to cast up my accounts.’


Middle English: from Old Norse kasta to cast or throw.




Main definitions of cast in English

: cast1cast2



  • [treated as singular or plural] The actors taking part in a play, film, or other production.

    ‘he draws sensitive performances from his inexperienced cast’
    • ‘The supporting cast each had moments to shine as well.’
    • ‘It features a cast of 26 people and is one of the biggest festival productions undertaken in recent years.’
    • ‘Based on the Robin Hood tale, this show features a cast of 15 young performers aged from 12-16 years.’
    • ‘Many of the film's cast are not professional actors but people who live in the conditions portrayed.’
    • ‘In the grand tradition of the Ealing comedies, the film has attracted an all-star cast of character actors.’
    • ‘But, because of the efforts of the crew and every one of those actors in the cast, the film was completed.’
    • ‘To be fair to the director and cast, the film achieves some of its stated goals.’
    • ‘On the day we wrapped shooting the cast and crew threw a big party, but my mother had no intention of letting me go.’
    • ‘There were also notable spurts of strange behaviour and panic from cast and crew while filming.’
    • ‘It has one hell of a great cast, wonderful writers and endless material to work with from the media and politics.’
    • ‘An all-male cast of actors is performing one of Shakespeare's favourite comedies in the middle of a Cotswold village at the weekend.’
    • ‘Please come and support the cast of over fifty who has worked hard over the past months to stage this very entertaining Pantomime.’
    • ‘As an international co-production, the film also heavily features American actors in the cast.’
    • ‘The charismatic young cast handles the material well.’
    • ‘Relatively unknown Canadian actors round out the cast, and you won't find fault with any one of them.’
    • ‘It has some solid performances, a few laughs and a likable cast of characters.’
    • ‘Most of the cast had their lines memorized, except for Dan, of course.’
    • ‘The film doesn't take itself too seriously, but draws on raw emotion and features a talented ensemble cast.’
    • ‘The supporting cast is also excellent; I didn't find a false note anywhere.’
    • ‘You cannot ignore the star-studded cast, because that is the movie's selling point.’


  • 1 Assign a part in a play or film to (an actor)

    ‘he was cast as a young knight in her lavish historical epic’
    • ‘He will not play again this season, but it is easy to cast him as a fall guy in a violent business that ice hockey seems to encourage.’
    • ‘Actors are cast as virtual crew members in prerecorded scenarios that astronauts then use when problems arise.’
    • ‘While it is no coincidence that she has twice been cast as a doctor, the actress seems far more hesitant in person, with long pauses punctuating her conversation.’
    • ‘He was perfectly cast as the slick detective who played as cool as his perfectly tailored suits.’
    • ‘Insiders know that when it comes to casting women in his projects, he insists on taking a very active - some might even say hands-on - role.’
    • ‘She was called back for a second, then a third audition before being cast as an understudy to the lead.’
    • ‘His complete deception regarding taxes and his grandstanding on the issue of unemployment cast him as little more than an opportunistic liar.’
    • ‘More than 20,000 background actors were cast for the films’
    • ‘They were cast as self-interested actors desperate for an escape from poverty, happy to embrace whatever the developed world could offer.’
    • ‘He explains that it's neither easy nor cheap to cast talented actors for just a small number of scenes.’
    • ‘Most of the major roles were cast with actors I already knew and with whom I had acted earlier in my career.’
    • ‘So surely the central issue for a film depicting such a charismatic character is casting an appropriate actor in the lead role.’
    • ‘He will soon be cast as a supporting actor in a film.’
    • ‘However, he is not a romantic lead and should never have been cast as such.’
    • ‘Was it scary when you realised you were cast as an actress who was called the most beautiful woman in the world?’
    • ‘Each actor has been perfectly cast in an ideal role.’
    • ‘Actors are cast as versions of themselves and then left to the mercy of different teams of writers and directors.’
    • ‘An actor can be cast against type and pull out an astounding performance.’
    • ‘Another choice Bergman made was to cast non-professional actors in the leads.’
    • ‘For the film, Barmak cast non-professional actors from orphanages and refugee camps.’
    choose, select, pick, name, nominate, assign, appoint, assign the part to, give the part to
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Allocate parts in (a play or film)
      ‘assembling a great baseball team is as tricky as casting a play’
      • ‘When you were casting the film, what qualities were you looking for in the lead character?’
      • ‘The garden is running its own show, and like a theatre production that you have cast, directed and produced, the summer is time to sit back and watch the performance.’
      • ‘A friend of mine who's casting teenage films in London just shot me in my living room, and we sent it off, and I got the gig.’
      • ‘The producer works with the writer, casts the film, and supervises the editing.’
      • ‘The children were asked to cast a play using their classmates as the actors.’
      • ‘Chemistry is one of those things that just cannot be planned for when casting a film.’
      • ‘When Auerbach was casting the film, she was very aware that the actors had to be plausible together as mother and son.’
      • ‘The same casting directors were casting those films.’
      • ‘Cars drive on to the beach and disappear towards the russet-coloured cliffs; a hardy soul casts a line.’
      • ‘Of course, perfect casting helped with every role cast with the right actor.’
      • ‘We cast the film at the Shamshatoo refugee camp in Peshawar, on Pakistan's north-western frontier, and at the various markets and schools in the area.’
      • ‘Every part in this production was well cast, and each actor plays his or her role ably.’
      • ‘After he cast the film, we all met at his house for a preliminary discussion, after which he went to Sweden for five days and wrote the script.’
      • ‘Trying to pick people who are not actors now but are going to be actors is a lot different from casting a play or a movie.’
      • ‘Wednesday, April 28 everybody is pretend casting the movie based on Richard Clarke's book.’
      • ‘The characters have been well cast and the actors attack the roles with gusto.’
      • ‘‘Once we cast the film, we spent a lot of time with the actors,’ he explains.’
      • ‘Directors take into account the public's perception of actors and actresses when casting for films.’
      • ‘In casting the film, efforts were made to include the people who would be directly concerned in the event of a real-life outbreak or who at least worked in a related field.’
      • ‘So there was no ego involved in plotting this film, casting this film, directing, editing - the only thing that mattered was the movie.’


Mid 17th century: a special use of cast in cast.