cast
Pronunciation
  • (British): enPR: käst, IPA: /kɑːst/; (Northern England): IPA: /kæst/
  • (America): enPR: kăst, IPA: /kæst/
Verb

cast (casts, present participle casting; past and past participle cast)

  1. (physical) To move, or be moved, away.
    1. (now somewhat literary) To throw. [from 13thc.]
      • 1623, William Shakespeare, The Two Gentlemen of Verona:
        Why then a Ladder quaintly made of Cords / To cast vp, with a paire of anchoring hookes, / Would serue to scale another Hero's towre […].
      • 1760, Laurence Sterne, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, p.262:
        The more, an' please your honour, the pity, said the Corporal; in uttering which, he cast his spade into the wheelbarrow […].
    2. To throw forward (a fishing line, net etc.) into the sea. [from 14thc.]
      • 1526, Bible, tr. William Tyndale, Gospel of Matthew 4:
        As Jesus walked by the see off Galile, he sawe two brethren: Simon which was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, castynge a neet into the see (for they were fisshers) […].
    3. To throw down or aside. [from 15thc.]
      • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Qveene. […], London: Printed [by John Wolfe] for VVilliam Ponsonbie, OCLC 960102938 ↗, book II, canto XII:
        So she to Guyon offred it to tast; / Who taking it out of her tender hond, / The cup to ground did violently cast, / That all in peeces it was broken fond {{...}
      • 1611, Bible, Authorized Version, Gospel of Matthew VI.30:
        it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
      • 1930, "Sidar the Madman", Time, 19 Dec.:
        Near Puerto Limon, Costa Rica, Madman, co-pilot and plane were caught in a storm, cast into the Caribbean, drowned.
      • 2009, Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall, Fourth Estate, 2010, p.316:
        Her bow is not to her liking. In a temper, she casts it on the grass.
    4. (of an animal) To throw off (the skin) as a process of growth; to shed the hair or fur of the coat. [from 15thc.]
    5. To cause (a horse or other large animal) to lie down with its legs underneath it.
    6. (obsolete except in set phrases) To remove, take off (clothes). [from 14thc.]
      • 1822, "Life of Donald McBane", Blackwood's Magazine, vol.12, p.745:
        when the serjeant saw me, he cast his coat and put it on me, and they carried me on their shoulders to a village where the wounded were and our surgeons […].
      • 2002, Jess Cartner-Morley, "How to Wear Clothes", The Guardian, 2 March:
        You know the saying, "Ne'er cast a clout till May is out"? Well, personally, I'm bored of my winter clothes by March.
    7. (nautical) To heave the lead and line in order to ascertain the depth of water.
    8. (obsolete) To vomit.
      • 1601, Ben Jonson, Poetaster or The Arraignment: […], London: Printed [by R. Bradock] for M[atthew] L[ownes] […], published 1602, OCLC 316392309 ↗, Act 1, scene 1:
        These verses […] make me ready to cast.
    9. (archaic) To throw up, as a mound, or rampart.
      • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Luke 19:48 ↗:
        Thine enemies shall cast a trench [bank] about thee.
    10. (archaic) To throw out or emit; to exhale.
      • 1695 (first published), 1726 (final dated of publication) John Woodward, An Essay toward a Natural History of the Earth and Terrestrial Bodies
        This […] casts a sulphurous smell.
  2. 1849, Philip Henry Gosse, Natural History
    This horned bird, as it casts a strong smell, so it hath a foul look, much exceeding the European Raven in bigness
  3. To direct (one's eyes, gaze etc.). [from 13thc.]
    • 1595, William Shakespeare, Henry VI, Part 3:
      To whom do Lyons cast their gentle Lookes? Not to the Beast, that would vsurpe their Den.
    • 1813, Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, I.11:
      She then yawned again, threw aside her book, and cast her eyes round the room in quest of some amusement […].
  4. (dated) To add up (a column of figures, accounts etc.); cross-cast refers to adding up a row of figures. [from 14thc.]
    • 1594, William Shakespeare, Henry VI, Part 2:
      The Clearke of Chartam: hee can write and / reade, and cast accompt.
    • 1603, Michel de Montaigne, chapter 17, in John Florio, transl., The Essayes, […], book II, printed at London: By Val[entine] Simmes for Edward Blount […], OCLC 946730821 ↗:
      I cannot yet cast account either with penne or Counters.
    • 1719, Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe
      I cast up the notches on my post, and found I had been on shore three hundred and sixty-five days.
  5. (social) To predict, to decide, to plan.
    1. (astrology) To calculate the astrological value of (a horoscope, birth etc.). [from 14thc.]
      • 1624, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy: […], 2nd edition, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 54573970 ↗:
        , vol.1, New York Review of Books, 2001, p.309:
        he is […] a perfect astrologer, that can cast the rise and fall of others, and mark their errant motions to his own use.
      • 1971, Keith Thomas (historian), Religion and the Decline of Magic, Folio Society, 2012, p.332:
        John Gadbury confessed that Mrs Cellier, ‘the Popish Midwife’, had asked him to cast the King's nativity, although the astrology claimed to have refused to do so.
      • 1985, Lawrence Durrell, Quinx, Faber & Faber 2004 (Avignon Quintet), p.1197:
        He did the washing up and stayed behind to watch the dinner cook while she hopped off with a friend to have her horoscope cast by another friend.
    2. (obsolete) To plan, intend. [14th-19thc.]
      • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, II.i:
        I wrapt my selfe in Palmers weed, / And cast to seeke him forth through daunger and great dreed.
      • 1685, Sir William Temple, 1st Baronet, "Upon the Gardens of Epicurus
        The cloister […] had, I doubt not, been cast for [an orange-house].
    3. (transitive) To assign (a role in a play or performance). [from 18thc.]
      The director cast the part carefully.
    4. (transitive) To assign a role in a play or performance to (an actor).
      The director cast John Smith as King Lear.
    5. To consider; to turn or revolve in the mind; to plan.
      to cast about for reasons
      • , Gospel of Luke i.29
        She […] cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
    6. (archaic) To impose; to bestow; to rest.
      • 1610–1611, William Shakespeare, “The Tempest”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act I, scene ii]:
        The government I cast upon my brother.
      • , Psalms iv. 22
        Cast thy burden upon the Lord.
    7. (archaic) To defeat in a lawsuit; to decide against; to convict.
      to be cast in damages
      • 1822, John Galt, The Provost
        She was cast to be hanged.
      • Were the case referred to any competent judge, they would inevitably be cast.
    8. To turn (the balance or scale); to overbalance; hence, to make preponderate; to decide.
      a casting voice
      • How much interest casts the balance in cases dubious!
  6. To perform, bring forth (a magical spell or enchantment).
  7. To throw (light etc.) on or upon something, or in a given direction.
    • 1950, "A Global View", Time, 24 April:
      The threat of Russian barbarism sweeping over the free world will cast its ominous shadow over us for many, many years.
    • 1960, Lawrence Durrell, Clea (novel):
      A sudden thought cast a gloom over his countenance.
  8. (archaic) To give birth to (a child) prematurely; to miscarry. [from 15thc.]
    • 1603, Michel de Montaigne, John Florio, transl., The Essayes, […], printed at London: By Val[entine] Simmes for Edward Blount […], OCLC 946730821 ↗:
      , Folio Society, 2006, vol.1, p.98:
      being with childe, they may without feare of accusation, spoyle and cast transterm avorter their children, with certaine medicaments, which they have only for that purpose.
    • 1646, Sir Thomas Browne, Pseudodoxia Epidemica, V.20:
      The abortion of a woman they describe by an horse kicking a wolf; because a mare will cast her foal if she tread in the track of that animal.
  9. To shape (molten metal etc.) by pouring into a mould; to make (an object) in such a way. [from 15thc.]
    • 1923, "Rodin's Death", Time, 24 March:
      One copy of the magnificent caveman, The Thinker, of which Rodin cast several examples in bronze, is seated now in front of the Detroit Museum of Art, where it was placed last autumn.
    1. (printing, dated) To stereotype or electrotype.
  10. To twist or warp (of fabric, timber etc.). [from 16thc.]
    • c. 1680, Joseph Moxon, The Art of Joinery
      Stuff is said to cast or warp when […] it alters its flatness or straightness.
  11. (nautical) To bring the bows of a sailing ship on to the required tack just as the anchor is weighed by use of the headsail; to bring (a ship) round. [from 18thc.]
  12. To deposit (a ballot or voting paper); to formally register (one's vote). [from 19thc.]
  13. (computing) To change a variable type from, for example, integer to real, or integer to text. [from 20thc.]
    Casting is generally an indication of bad design.
  14. (hunting) Of dogs, hunters: to spread out and search for a scent. [from 18thc.]
    • 1955, William Golding, The Inheritors (William Golding), Faber and Faber, 2005, p.50:
      He clambered on to an apron of rock that held its area out to the sun and began to cast across it. The direction of the wind changed and the scent touched him again.
  15. (medicine) To set (a bone etc.) in a cast.
  16. (Wicca) To open a circle in order to begin a spell or meeting of witches.
Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations
  • Russian: броса́ть
Translations Translations
  • French: muer
  • Russian: сбра́сывать
Translations
  • Russian: вы́кинуть
Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Noun

cast (plural casts)

  1. An act of throwing.
  2. (fishing) An instance of throwing out a fishing line.
  3. Something which has been thrown, dispersed etc.
    • a cast of dreadful dust
  4. A small mass of earth "thrown off" or excreted by a worm.
    The area near the stream was covered with little bubbly worm casts.
  5. The collective group of actors performing a play or production together. Contrasted with crew.
    He’s in the cast of Oliver.
    The cast was praised for a fine performance.
  6. The casting procedure.
    The men got into position for the cast, two at the ladle, two with long rods, all with heavy clothing.
  7. An object made in a mould.
    The cast would need a great deal of machining to become a recognizable finished part.
  8. A supportive and immobilising device used to help mend broken bones.
    The doctor put a cast on the boy’s broken arm.
  9. The mould used to make cast objects.
    A plaster cast was made from his face.
  10. (hawking) The number of hawks (or occasionally other birds) cast off at one time; a pair.
    • 1596, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, VI.7:
      As when a cast of Faulcons make their flight / An an Herneshaw, that lyes aloft on wing […].
  11. A squint.
    • 1847, John Churchill, A manual of the principles and practice of ophthalmic medicine and surgery, p. 389, paragraph 1968 ↗:
      The image of the affected eye is clearer and in consequence the diplopy more striking the less the cast of the eye; hence the double vision will be noticed by the patient before the misdirection of the eye attracts the attention of those about him.
    • 2011, Thomas Penn, Winter King, Penguin 2012, p. 7:
      Arriving in Brittany, the Woodville exiles found a sallow young man, with dark hair curled in the shoulder-length fashion of the time and a penchant for expensively dyed black clothes, whose steady gaze was made more disconcerting by a cast in his left eye – such that while one eye looked at you, the other searched for you.
  12. Visual appearance.
    Her features had a delicate cast to them.
  13. The form of one's thoughts, mind etc.
    a cast of mind, a mental tendency.
    • 1894, Wilson Lloyd Bevan, Sir William Petty : A Study in English Economic Literature, p. 40:
      The cast of mind which prompted the plan was permanent, and in it are to be found both the strength and the weakness of Petty's character.
    • 1992, Hilary Mantel, A Place of Greater Safety, Harper Perennial 2007, p. 330:
      I have read all her articles and come to admire both her elegant turn of phrase and the noble cast of mind which inspires it; but never, I confess, did I look to see beauty and wit so perfectly united.
  14. An animal, especially a horse, that is unable to rise without assistance.
  15. Animal and insect remains which have been regurgitated by a bird.
  16. A group of crabs.
Translations Translations Translations
  • Russian: ка́стинг
Translations Translations Translations Translations
  • French: strabisme
  • Russian: косогла́зие
Translations
Cast
Proper noun
  1. Surname



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