cast

1 of 2

verb

cast; casting

transitive verb

1
a
: to cause to move or send forth by throwing
cast a fishing lure
cast dice
b
: direct
cast a glance
c(1)
: to put forth
the fire casts a warm glow
cast light on the subject
cast a shadow
(2)
: to place as if by throwing
cast doubt on their reliability
d
: to deposit (a ballot) formally
cast her vote
e(1)
: to throw off or away
the horse cast a shoe
(2)
: to get rid of : discard
cast off all restraint
soda cans and fast-food boxes cast aside on the beach
(3)
: shed, molt
cast feathers
(4)
: to bring forth
especially : to give birth to prematurely
f
: to throw to the ground especially in wrestling
The cow was cast and her legs tied.
g
: to build by throwing up earth
cast a mound
2
a(1)
: to perform arithmetical operations on : add
(2)
: to calculate by means of astrology
cast a person's horoscope
b
archaic : decide, intend
3
a
: to dispose or arrange into parts or into a suitable form or order
I shall cast what I have to say under two principal headsTatler
b(1)
: to assign the parts of (a dramatic production) to actors
cast a movie
(2)
: to assign (someone, such as an actor) to a role or part
was cast in the leading role
4
a
: to give a shape to (a substance) by pouring in liquid or plastic form into a mold and letting harden without pressure
cast steel
b
: to form by this process
toys cast from plastic
5
: turn
cast the scale slightly
6
: to make (a knot or stitch) by looping or catching up
cast a square knot
7
: twist, warp
a beam cast by age
8
: to transmit the sound and images of (something happening) in real time via the Internet
The event is cast live over the Internet and broadcast later on National Public Radio's "Science Friday."Lynn Teo Simarski
The webinar will be cast live over Skype on a large screen at the church.Cheril Vernon

intransitive verb

1
: to throw something
specifically : to throw out a lure with a fishing rod
2
dialectal British : vomit
3
dialectal, England : to bear fruit : yield
4
a
: to perform addition
b
obsolete : estimate, conjecture
5
: warp
lumber casts
6
: to range over land in search of a trail
used of hunting dogs or trackers
7
: veer
castability noun
castable adjective

cast

2 of 2

noun

1
a
: an act of casting
b
: something that happens as a result of chance
c
: a throw of dice
a seven on the first cast
d
: a throw of a line (such as a fishing line) or net
a perfect cast
2
a
: the form in which a thing is constructed
b(1)
: the set of actors in a dramatic production
The show features an all-star cast.
(2)
: a set of characters or persons
in both great houses there is the usual cast of servantsElizabeth Bowen
c
: the arrangement of draperies in a painting
3
: the distance to which a thing can be thrown
specifically : the distance a bow can shoot
4
a
: a turning of the eye in a particular direction
also : expression
this freakish, elfish cast came into the child's eye Nathaniel Hawthorne
b
: a slight strabismus
5
: something that is thrown or the quantity thrown
especially, British : the leader of a fishing line
6
a
: something that is formed by casting in a mold or form: such as
(1)
: a reproduction (as of a statue) in metal or plaster : casting
(2)
: a fossil reproduction of the details of a natural object by mineral infiltration
b
: an impression taken from an object with a liquid or plastic substance : mold
They made a mask from a wax cast of her face.
c
: a rigid casing (as of fiberglass or of gauze impregnated with plaster of paris) used for immobilizing a usually diseased or broken part
has a cast on her broken arm
7
8
a
: an overspread of a color or modification of the appearance of a substance by a trace of some added hue : shade
gray with a greenish cast
b
: tinge, suggestion
a cast of bitterness in his wordsWalter O'Meara
9
a
: a ride on one's way in a vehicle : lift
A motorist gave him a cast as far as the town.
b
Scotland : help, assistance
10
a
: shape, appearance
the delicate cast of her features
b
: characteristic quality
his father's conservative cast of mind
11
: something that is shed, ejected, or thrown out or off: such as
a
: the excrement of an earthworm
b
: a mass of soft matter formed in cavities of diseased organs and discharged from the body
c
: the skin of an insect
12
: the ranging in search of a trail by a dog, hunting pack, or tracker
The setter made a wide cast.
Phrases
cast lots
: to draw lots to determine a matter by chance
Choose the Right Synonym for cast

discard, cast, shed, slough, scrap, junk mean to get rid of.

discard implies the letting go or throwing away of something that has become useless or superfluous though often not intrinsically valueless.

discard old clothes

cast, especially when used with off, away, or out, implies a forceful rejection or repudiation.

cast off her friends

shed and slough imply a throwing off of something both useless and encumbering and often suggest a consequent renewal of vitality or luster.

shed a bad habit
finally sloughed off the depression

scrap and junk imply throwing away or breaking up as worthless in existent form.

scrap all the old ways
would junk our educational system

throw, cast, toss, fling, hurl, pitch, sling mean to cause to move swiftly through space by a propulsive movement or a propelling force.

throw is general and interchangeable with the other terms but may specifically imply a distinctive motion with bent arm.

can throw a fastball and a curve

cast usually implies lightness in the thing thrown and sometimes a scattering.

cast it to the winds

toss suggests a light or careless or aimless throwing and may imply an upward motion.

tossed the coat on the bed

fling stresses a violent throwing.

flung the ring back in his face

hurl implies power as in throwing a massive weight.

hurled himself at the intruder

pitch suggests throwing carefully at a target.

pitch horseshoes

sling stresses either the use of whirling momentum in throwing or directness of aim.

slung the bag over his shoulder

Examples of cast in a Sentence

Verb Seaweed was cast up by the waves. The tree cast a long shadow on the lawn. How many votes were cast? Noun She has a cast on her arm. They made a mask from a wax cast of her face.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Smaller ones, cast in bronze with intricate markings hinting at their origins, have been safely tucked away behind locked doors in a museum open only to dignitaries, diplomats and other important personalities. Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald, 7 June 2024 On Thursday, June 6, the streamer announced that the actor, 46, has been cast as LAPD officer Mark Meachum — his first leading role since his breakout series, The CW's Supernatural, which concluded in 2020. Esther Kang, Peoplemag, 7 June 2024
Noun
How have Phoebe Cates, Corey Feldman and the rest of the cast coped with being terrorized by little green monsters in the 1984 classic? John Russell, Peoplemag, 8 June 2024 Yet despite their seemingly endless success with other projects, all the prominent cast members from Euphoria have expressed persistent interest in returning for a third season. EW.com, 8 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for cast 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cast.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

Middle English, from Old Norse kasta; akin to Old Norse kǫs heap

First Known Use

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of cast was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near cast

Cite this Entry

“Cast.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cast. Accessed 20 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

cast

1 of 2 verb
cast; casting
1
a
: throw entry 1 sense 1a, toss
cast a stone
b
: to throw a fishing line
c
: direct entry 1 sense 3
cast a glance
d
: to place as if by throwing
cast doubt on their honesty
e
: to deposit formally
cast a ballot
f
: to throw off, out, or away
the horse cast a shoe
a snake casts its skin
2
b
: to arrange into parts or into a proper form
cast the story in the form of a letter
3
: to assign parts to actors
cast a play
4
: to shape a substance by pouring it in liquid or very soft form into a mold and letting it harden without pressure
cast steel
cast machine parts

cast

2 of 2 noun
1
: an act of casting
2
a
: the form in which a thing is constructed
b
: the characters or the actors in a story or play
3
: the distance to which a thing can be thrown
4
a
: a glance of the eye
5
b
: a rigid casing (as of gauze and plaster of paris) for immobilizing a body part
6
7
: a tinge of color : shade
8
: one of the characteristics associated with a person or thing
the humorous cast of his stories
her strict cast of mind
9
: something thrown out or off or shed

Medical Definition

cast

1 of 2 transitive verb
cast; casting
1
: to give a shape to (a substance) by pouring in liquid or plastic form into a mold and letting harden without pressure
2
: to form by casting

cast

2 of 2 noun
1
: a slight strabismus
2
a
: something that is formed by casting in a mold or form
especially : an impression taken from an object by using a liquid or plastic substance
b
: a rigid casing (as of fiberglass or of gauze impregnated with plaster of paris) used for immobilizing a usually diseased or broken part
3
: a mass of plastic matter formed in cavities of diseased organs (as the kidneys) and discharged from the body

More from Merriam-Webster on cast

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!