Definition of castoff in English:



  • No longer wanted; abandoned or discarded.

    ‘a pile of castoff clothes’
    • ‘He says that he wore ‘as badges of courage’ the barbs of those who caught him wearing a classmate's cast-off clothes.’
    • ‘He must have found fresh water; he has a source of food he can tap into… probably including cast-off bones, rubbish discarded by the fast food outlet and restaurant the other side of Marina Glen, and any other scraps he can lay his teeth into.’
    • ‘Comprised initially of mostly illiterate former slaves, they overcame their shortcomings and the army's initial tendency to supply them with cast-off equipment.’
    • ‘We've lived together for five years so we've long graduated beyond using other people's cast-off china and bedding.’
    • ‘The house in question is made almost exclusively out of cast-off materials, most of which would have probably spent the rest of their days in scrap yards or in dumps.’
    • ‘The students do their design work at the college in a large open room crammed with drafting desks, layout tables, computer workstations, and, usually, an eclectic array of cast-off couches and easy chairs.’
    • ‘How, I wonder, through the immemorial ages, and why, did this particular bird develop its strange determination always, where possible, to use a snake's cast-off skin in building its nest?’
    • ‘He wore a shabby pair of green slacks made from synthetic fibre and flared from the knee down, a green t-shirt and a pair of cast-off track shoes from a former client.’
    • ‘They wear a mixture of swathed and ragged traditional togas and cast-off Oxfam rags.’
    • ‘That, plus the fact that the dining area is furnished with cast-off tables and chairs and mismatched china and cutlery, might make food seem like an afterthought.’
    • ‘Some have labeled this the ‘hand-me-down’ phenomenon, as many of the seniors moving online are recipients of cast-off hardware from their adult children.’
    • ‘She cut her hair short and bleached it blond, flaunted cast-off clothes and vivid red lipstick, shaved her eyebrows and replaced them with gold streaks.’
    • ‘When the likes of Waterford Port were thriving, most Irish fishermen were going around in cast-off boats from other countries.’
    • ‘At once monumental and fragile, it brought to mind the jury-rigged shacks constructed from cast-off materials found in every township or slum area.’
    • ‘Luckily, I wasn't pummelled to death with cast-off newsroom typewriters, and was even allowed to continue working.’
    • ‘I had to wear all my brother's highly unfashionable cast-off clothes and the bathroom always stunk of Guinness.’
    • ‘When that job was done, they packed it up in boxes and used cast-off pages from my comic as packing material.’
    • ‘Even dressed in cast-off men's clothes and struggling against the rigors of 19th century rural life, she looks as if she had stepped from the pages of a glossy magazine, her eyebrows and cuticles painstakingly attended to.’
    • ‘Payment was commonly in cast-off clothes, food scraps, alcohol or opium dregs.’
    • ‘I would never have believed it if I had not seen it with my own eyes, but many women seem perfectly happy to buy other people's cast-off mascara.’
    worn, worn out, shabby, threadbare, holey, torn, frayed, patched, tattered, moth-eaten, ragged, yellowed
    View synonyms


usually castoffs
  • Something, especially a garment, that is no longer wanted.

    ‘I'm not going out in her castoffs!’
    • ‘Recycling for profit is one thing, but when no money changes hands, other people's cast-offs are less desirable.’
    • ‘His indifference to cars was also reflected in the fact that as a young actor trying to make his way in London he was forced to make do with whatever was available - invariably the cast-offs of other actors.’
    • ‘They were made in southern Africa from recycled oil drums, unwanted cars and cast-offs from the metal industries, making them extremely environmentally friendly.’
    • ‘The Australian lamb industry was historically supplied by the cast-offs of the wool industry.’
    • ‘So those earliest families that settled used scrap wood, often cast-offs from construction, to build little shacks.’
    • ‘When times are hard or not so, rummaging through other people's (and I have to admit sometimes dead people's) cast-offs and unwanted novelty kitchen items is a fine way to spend a Saturday afternoon.’
    • ‘Then a young girl, dressed in the flashy cast-offs of the second - hand, observes her.’
    • ‘Country football is littered with the cast-offs from the elite leagues.’
    • ‘He drives off, leaving his bags of rubbish, old fridges and washing machines, mattresses, paint tins and a choice of cast-offs behind.’
    • ‘It is worth remembering that the people who fought for liberation in the decades after the Second World War wanted what the developed world had, not shoddy cast-offs.’
    • ‘Finding one of these cast-offs is like finding my grandmother's favourite sweater.’
    • ‘Smith added that the shop received between 20 and 30 bags of cast-offs and unwanted belongings a day.’
    • ‘We do not believe supporters want to see the cast-offs from larger clubs playing for their own clubs.’
    • ‘A Blackpool pensioner famed for his love of cast-offs has hit back at council claims he is using a private plot of land as a dumping ground for his ‘collection’.’
    • ‘I feel like something flung together at the last minute, something made out of jumble sale cast-offs and things won at fairgrounds.’
    • ‘All our furniture was second-hand: cast-offs and goodwill presents from our friends in Chicago.’
    • ‘Dressed usually in her mistress's cast-offs from yesteryears of fashion, she nevertheless lent a personal touch to each garment.’
    • ‘About a third of the paintings in the collection are student donations or Ruskin cast-offs and have a distinctly youthful and accessible appeal that helps many of them to find a home each year.’
    • ‘The photos are cast-offs from photo booths around Paris.’
    • ‘Of course, makeshift shelters have been fashioned from transport-industry cast-offs for decades, with railway carriages used as extra bedrooms and old vans used as chicken coops.’
    useless things, discarded things, rubbish, clutter, stuff, odds and ends, bits and pieces, bric-a-brac, oddments, flotsam and jetsam, white elephants
    View synonyms