\ 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

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 Barbados last year cast off the queen as its head of state and became a republic. Washington Post, 7 May 2022 Persevere in the faith, cast off all fear and keep your heart strong; God will never forsake you. Elizabeth Berry, Woman's Day, 4 May 2022 For some, the COVID-19 threat hasn’t gone away As government agencies have cast off pandemic protections, many immunocompromised and disabled people have felt forgotten. Los Angeles Times, 11 Apr. 2022 Like Curry, Clark has been known to cast off from 35 feet — successfully — and her overall game has captivated many, including Durant, since her high-school years. Bruce Jenkins, San Francisco Chronicle, 12 Mar. 2022 As the show relates, years before, Mary was cast off for marrying Kate's widowed father, who is of lower rank, resulting in the Sharma family's move to India. Sam Gillette,, 26 Mar. 2022 The most recent sighting was in August 2017, when a possible track was found and cast off a trail near the Hocking River. Emily Deletter, The Enquirer, 9 Mar. 2022 In the spring, the bones are cast off, leaving behind bloody pedicles. The New Yorker, 7 Mar. 2022 In Lviv, Odesa, Kharkiv, and finally Kyiv, something struck me for the first time after many years of coming here: their post-Soviet feel has finally been cast off. Tim Judah, The New York Review of Books, 19 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of cast-off


1613, in the meaning defined above


1575, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near cast-off

cast of characters


cast off

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for cast-off

Cite this Entry

“Cast-off.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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

More Definitions for cast-off


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

Eponyms: Words Named After People

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

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!