1

cast

verb \ ˈkast \

Definition of cast

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 heads
  • Tatler
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

play \ˌkas-tə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun

castable

play \ˈkas-tə-bəl\ adjective
cast lots
:to draw lots to determine a matter by chance

Examples of cast in a Sentence

  1. Seaweed was cast up by the waves.

  2. The tree cast a long shadow on the lawn.

  3. How many votes were cast?

Recent Examples of cast from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of cast

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

cast Synonyms

Synonym Discussion of 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

2

cast

noun

Definition of cast

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 servants
  • —Elizabeth 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; especiallyBritish :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
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 words
  • —Walter 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 Scottish :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.

Examples of cast in a Sentence

  1. She has a cast on her arm.

  2. They made a mask from a wax cast of her face.

Recent Examples of cast from the Web

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

First Known Use of cast

14th century

Other Performing Arts Terms


CAST Defined for English Language Learners

cast

verb

Definition of cast for English Language Learners

  • : to throw or move (something) in a forceful way

  • : to throw (a fishing line, hook, etc.) into the water by using a fishing pole

  • : to send or direct (something) in the direction of someone or something


cast

noun

Definition of cast for English Language Learners

  • : the actors in a play, film, or television show

  • : a hard covering that is put on an arm, leg, etc., so that a broken bone can heal

  • : a container that is used to give its form or shape to something that is poured or pressed into it; also : an object that is made by using such a container


CAST Defined for Kids

1

cast

verb \ ˈkast \

Definition of cast for Students

cast; casting
1 :1throw 1
  • cast a stone
  • cast a fishing line
2 :to direct to or toward something or someone
  • cast a glance
3 :to send out or forward
  • cast a shadow
  • cast light
4 :to put under the influence of
  • cast a spell
  • The news cast gloom over the party.
5 :to throw out, off, or away :shed
  • Snakes cast their skins.
6 :to make (a vote) formally
7 :to assign a part or role to
  • I was cast as the hero in the play.
8 :to give shape to liquid material by pouring it into a mold and letting it harden
  • The statue was cast in bronze.

2

cast

noun

Definition of cast for Students

1 :an act of throwing
  • He caught a fish on his first cast.
2 :the characters or the people acting in a play or story
3 :a stiff dressing (as of plaster) hardened around a part of the body to allow a broken bone to heal
  • I had a cast on my leg.
4 :a hint of color
  • a bluish cast
5 :the container used to give a shape to the thing made in it
6 :something formed by casting in a mold or form
  • a bronze cast of a statue
7 :the distance to which a thing can be thrown
8 :2shape 1
  • His face has a rugged cast.
9 :something (as the skin of an insect or the waste of an earthworm) that is shed or thrown out or off

Medical Dictionary

1

cast

transitive verb \ ˈkast \

medical Definition of cast

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

2

cast

noun

medical Definition of cast

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


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to conform or adhere

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one-green-toy-robot-amidst-many-red-toy-robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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