\ ˈkast-ˌȯf How to pronounce cast-off (audio) \

Definition of cast-off

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: thrown away or aside

cast off

cast off; casting off; casts off

Definition of cast off (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : loose cast off a hunting dog
2 : unfasten cast off a boat
3 : to remove (a stitch) from a knitting needle in such a way as to prevent unraveling

intransitive verb

1 : to unfasten or untie a boat or a line
2 : to turn one's partner in a square dance and pass around the outside of the set and back
3 : to finish a knitted fabric by casting off all stitches

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from cast-off


castoff noun

Examples of cast-off in a Sentence

Verb once she became rich and didn't need them anymore, she cast off all her old friends like so much junk
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Other animals can cast off body parts when needed, such as when some lizards drop their tails to get away from a predator, in a biological phenomenon called autotomy. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, 10 Mar. 2021 The grease Hazel uses, in this case, becomes a metaphor for permission—to cast off institutional burdens, and to tell a different story. Lovia Gyarkye, The New Republic, 20 May 2021 San Jose cast off five players who were not part of the future, acquired two who might help sooner rather than later, bolstered their goaltending pipeline and stockpiled their draft cache with three choices over the next two drafts. Ross Mckeon, San Francisco Chronicle, 12 Apr. 2021 Rhodes, a former first-round pick of the Vikings, was cast off after a rough ending in Minnesota in 2019 but played well last season for the Indianapolis Colts in a heavy zone scheme. Brad Biggs,, 19 Mar. 2021 Though California has turned a significant corner, the coronavirus could easily rebound if too many people cast off their masks, crowd together and throw caution to the wind before enough residents have been vaccinated, officials and experts warn. Luke Money, Los Angeles Times, 17 Mar. 2021 Researchers also don't know what immediate cue prompts the creatures to cast off the rest of the body. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, 10 Mar. 2021 Other creatures can cast off body parts when needed, like when some lizards drop their tails to get away from a predator, in a biological phenomenon called autotomy. NBC News, 8 Mar. 2021 Activist hedge fund Elliott Management challenged the company to cast off unneeded business units and buy back stock, among other recommendations. Drew Fitzgerald, WSJ, 25 Feb. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cast-off.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of cast-off


1613, in the meaning defined above


1575, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about cast-off

Time Traveler for cast-off

Time Traveler

The first known use of cast-off was in 1575

See more words from the same year

Statistics for cast-off

Cite this Entry

“Cast-off.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for cast-off



English Language Learners Definition of cast-off

: thrown or given away


cast·​off | \ ˈkast-ˌȯf \

Kids Definition of castoff

: a person or thing that has been thrown aside or rejected


\ ˈkast-ˌȯf \

Kids Definition of cast-off

: thrown away or aside She wore cast-off clothes.

More from Merriam-Webster on cast-off

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cast-off


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Dog Breeds

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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