\ 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

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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 The local move to stop gatherings of more than two people came after the sheer joy of victory, together with warm weather, prompted people to cast off worries about the COVID-19 pandemic and to gather in huge crowds. Washington Post, "UK police to get tougher on crowds amid pandemic worries," 27 June 2020 The necklace of islands strung together by this 127.5-mile road vary markedly, moving from the Upper Keys, which seem like shards of the mainland cast off into the ocean, on to the Middle and Lower Keys. Mark Ellwood, Condé Nast Traveler, "14 Best Road Trips in America," 22 June 2020 Some, like Emerson, argued that the ballast of European culture would need to be cast off—that the new nation should be made up from scratch. James Marcus, The New Yorker, "What Is There to Love About Longfellow?," 1 June 2020 The 2016 third-round pick becomes the latest player to be cast off from the now-winless Dolphins in recent months. Michael Middlehurst-schwartz, USA TODAY, "Miami Dolphins trade RB Kenyan Drake to Arizona Cardinals," 28 Oct. 2019 Harper spent seven years trying to lead the Washington Nationals into the World Series, only to be cast off as a free agent over the winter. Bruce Jenkins,, "The Giants and the Nationals: A bad-hop connection," 17 Oct. 2019 Later images from Hubble revealed the fragment had since disintegrated—but the comet could well continue to cast off debris. Jonathan O'callaghan, Scientific American, "COVID-19 Shutdown May Obscure Mysteries of Cracked Interstellar Comet," 6 Apr. 2020 Cromwell soon has to scour Europe for a bride who both suits Henry’s tastes and is willing to marry an aging, bloated monarch who cast off one queen and killed another. Judith Shulevitz, The Atlantic, "Hilary Mantel Takes Thomas Cromwell Down," 5 Apr. 2020 And Mazara is young enough to live up to his potential, perhaps blossoming late like Royals outfielder Jorge Soler, a premier slugger whom the Cubs cast off for a one-year rental. Paul Sullivan,, "Column: Now the pressure is really on the White Sox to sign a frontline starter," 11 Dec. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of cast-off


1613, in the meaning defined above


1575, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Time Traveler for cast-off

Time Traveler

The first known use of cast-off was in 1575

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Statistics for cast-off

Cite this Entry

“Cast-off.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for cast-off


How to pronounce cast off (audio)

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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on cast-off

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cast-off

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cast-off

Spanish Central: Translation of cast-off

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