\ 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 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, "35 million Californians now have a reopened economy amid ‘more energy, more optimism’," 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, "Self-decapitating sea slugs cut off their own heads, then regenerate brand-new bodies," 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, "Heads up: Some sea slugs grow new bodies after decapitation," 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, "AT&T Carves Out Pay-TV Business in Deal With TPG," 25 Feb. 2021 With the Pacifica Pier closed, many crab fishers are having to cast off from shore to catch the crustaceans, which is not ideal for older crabbers. Momo Chang, San Francisco Chronicle, "As Pacifica Pier remains closed, Bay Area crabbers lose more than just a feast - a multigenerational community," 4 Feb. 2021 But when the researchers tried to mimic an enemy’s attack by pinching and cutting the creatures, none cast off their bodies. David Shultz, Science | AAAS, "This sea slug cut off its own head—and lived to tell the tale," 8 Mar. 2021 But throughout, the way Nelson Mandela and his countrymen and women cast off apartheid contains profound echoes of the American Civil Rights struggle, a fight that, as Mandela himself writes, does not end just because laws are changed. Steve Johnson,, "‘Mandela’ exhibit tells story of South African freedom fight at Illinois Holocaust Museum," 25 Feb. 2021 Still, vaccines are offering hope that Americans will rediscover their wanderlust and cast off the limitations of video chats and telephone calls. Patrick Clark, Fortune, "Vaccine rollout could boost the travel industry—and spell the end of deep discounts," 24 Dec. 2020

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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Cite this Entry

“Cast-off.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

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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.

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