\ˈkast-ˌȯf \

Definition of cast-off 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: thrown away or aside

cast 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


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

Then the oaks and eucalyptus exploded, casting off embers the size of basketballs that the heavy winds blew hundreds of yards away. Scott Wilson, Washington Post, "Devastated by wildfire, a California city weighs rebuilding amid a housing crunch," 14 Jan. 2018 Abe wants to amend the clause denying Japan a full-fledged military and cast off some of the postwar shackles. Anna Fifield, Washington Post, "Japanese prime minister Abe, embroiled in scandals, faces calls to stand down," 16 Apr. 2018 Panthers: Carolina is looking to get younger after casting off Kurt Coleman and hoping Mike Adams can hang on at 37. Michael Middlehurst-schwartz, USA TODAY, "NFL draft 2018 safety rankings: Derwin James, Minkah Fitzpatrick shape board," 16 Apr. 2018 And in the summer, as sanctions bite, the streets of Tehran rise up to cast off the Iranian regime. The Economist, "Donald Trump’s demolition theory of foreign policy won’t work," 7 June 2018 Right after indoor nationals, Winder got his cast off and returned to competition. Paul Johnson,, "The search for seven: North Central College’s Luke Winder battles injury in quest for another national title in the pole vault," 24 May 2018 In additional to casting off the pier, contestants also were allowed to set up on the marina docks — something not allowed during the regular season. Sue Ellen Ross, Post-Tribune, "Anglers brave the chill for a chance at a big catch," 18 May 2018 Check with staff to find the best places to cast off by season. Amy Aumick,, "Explore Florida's Santa Rosa County: Home to famous blackwater," 7 May 2018 For a little while, Rosenstein was able to cast off the worries of overseeing the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and the occasional public musings from President Trump about whether to fire him. Mark Sherman,, "Rosenstein puts aside Russia inquiry to argue case at Supreme Court," 23 Apr. 2018

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

Statistics for cast-off

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cast-off

The first known use of cast-off was in 1575

See more words from the same year

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



Kids Definition of cast-off

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

More from Merriam-Webster on cast-off

See words that rhyme with cast-off

Spanish Central: Translation of cast-off

Comments on cast-off

What made you want to look up cast-off? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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