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cast adrift

1. Literally, of a ship or sailors, to float on a body of water without control or anchorage. The team was cast adrift in the Atlantic for 17 days before a rescue party found them.
2. To be let go, freed, or lost. Likened to a ship that drifts without an anchor or moorings to a dock. When I arrived in the country, I found myself cast adrift in a city I didn't know, among people whose language I couldn't speak. With my inheritance money, I was cast adrift to pursue whatever life I fancied.
See also: adrift, cast

be cut adrift

To be detached or cut off from something. Likened to a boat having its mooring cut so that it drifts freely in the water. She was cut adrift after her parents found drugs in her room and kicked her out of the house.
See also: adrift, cut

cut adrift

To abandon or set free. Likened to a boat having its mooring cut so that it drifts freely in the water. I think it's about time that we cut adrift the extremists of the party.
See also: adrift, cut

cast loose

Also, cast adrift. Let go, freed, as in After Rob was suspended from boarding school, he was cast loose with nowhere to go, or Selling her home meant she was cast adrift with no financial ties or responsibilities. Originally a nautical term for releasing a vessel, this idiom was being used figuratively by the late 1500s.
See also: cast, loose

cut adrift

Separated or detached; freed. For example, The dissenters were cut adrift from the denomination. This expression alludes to cutting the rope of a floating vessel so that it drifts without direction or purpose. The figurative use of adrift dates from the late 1600s.
See also: adrift, cut

cast (or cut) someone adrift

1 leave someone in a boat or other craft which has nothing to secure or guide it. 2 abandon or isolate someone.
2 1998 Oldie The various dissenting movements…should be cut adrift and left to their own devices.
See also: adrift, cast
References in periodicals archive ?
Dream Vale finished third, one-and-half-a-length behind, and Moonreach fourth, another two lengths adrift.
Crew were adrift in their boat for nine days after being attacked by pirates
Had St Mirren beaten Mother well a few weeks ago we would have been 11 points adrift.
Olton RBL moved up to third place with a 7-2 win at Kenny's Boys but remain four adrift of the leaders.
Second-placed Real remain five points adrift after their 4-2 win at home to Almeria.
When Tel replaced Craig Brewster, Inverness were five points adrift at the bottom of the table.
Surrey's James Heath was left to rue his level-par opening round at the TCL Classic in Sanya after finishing six shots adrift of Thailand's Chapchai Nirat at the Yalong Bay Golf Club.
Miles from shore, a cataclysmic hurricane sets them adrift and fighting for their lives, and Jenny must find the courage within herself to chart a new course through troubled waters.
THE CORRESPONDENT IN "The Open Boat," a short story published by Stephen Crane in 1898, poses the following question as he and three companions are adrift at sea after a shipwreck: "If I am going to be drowned, why, in the name of the seven mad gods who rule the sea, was I allowed to come thus far and contemplate sand and trees?
The form of that effort has been franked in spectacular fashion, with Goldstar Dancer landing three hurdle races, and Tidal Fury, who was 16 lengths adrift of Dan's Heir at Market Rasen, winning a Grade One hurdle in France.
1980: Can't Stop the Music: Village People cowboy Randy Jones, adrift in a film where all the gay content is clanging subtext.
Proposing a new model in which companies are managed with common objectives in mind for all stakeholders, and a fundamental emphasis on the democratic principle in order to reduce financial instability on a large or long-term scale, Corporate Governance Adrift offers revolutionary yet practical solutions to complex and worrying economic problems.
What: Aaron McGruder's acclaimed comic strip about militant black kids adrift in the suburbs is reimagined as an animated series.
The fishing vessel Maria Emelyn II had been adrift in the South China Sea since 21 March.
The lyrics indicate that this school is adrift in a kind of New Age wishy-washiness.