cast off


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cast off

1. verb To leave the dock, as of a ship and its crew. A noun or pronoun can be used between "cast" and "off." We won't be staying here for long—we cast off again at sunrise.
2. verb To remove, dispose of, or shed something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "cast" and "off." Once you become a parent, you might decide to delegate more of your tasks—or cast off the title of CEO entirely. Mom told me I have to cast some things off before I'm allowed to add any more clothes to my closet. To attempt that daring jump on your bike, you'll need to cast off your fears.
3. verb To approximate how much space a manuscript will fill once typeset. A noun or pronoun can be used between "cast" and "off." You'll get a better idea of your novel's length in print once the publisher casts it off.
4. verb To remove the last row of stitches from the needle and complete the edge of a knitting project. A noun or pronoun can be used between "cast" and "off." Now that the blanket is long enough, the next step is to cast off.
5. noun Someone or something that has been ignored, overlooked, or rejected. In this usage, the phrase is often hyphenated. Of course you're still my best friend, not some cast-off! I just haven't had time to call you this week, that's all. Once you sort through your closet, give me any cast-offs, and I'll sell them at the yard sale.
6. noun An approximation of how much space a manuscript will fill once typeset. In this usage, the phrase can be written as one word ("castoff"). A castoff will give you a better idea of your novel's length in print.
See also: cast, off

cast off (from something)

[for the crew of a boat or ship] to push away from the dock or pier; to begin the process of navigating a boat or ship. The crew cast off from the dock. It's time to cast off.
See also: cast, off

cast off

1. Discard, reject, as in He cast off his clothes and jumped in the pool. This term was already used figuratively in Miles Coverdale's translation of the Bible (1535): "Thy mother ... that hath cast off her housebonds and her children" (Ezekiel 16:45).
2. Let go, set loose, as in He cast off the line and the boat drifted from the dock. [Second half of 1600s]
3. In knitting, to finish the last row of stitches, that is, take the stitches off the needle and form a selvage. For example, Your sweater is finished; I just have to cast off. [Late 1800s] Also see cast on, def. 1.
See also: cast, off

cast off

v.
1. To discard or reject something: Each year the principal would cast off her role as disciplinarian and perform in the school play. The load was too heavy, so we cast it off and left it behind.
2. To let something go; set something loose: I cast off the bow line and let the boat drift in the current. The crew grabbed the lines and cast them off as the captain started the engines. The crew remained on the boat, ready to cast off at the first sign of trouble.
3. To estimate the space some manuscript will occupy when set into type: The publisher cast off the manuscript to see how long the book would be. We cast each chapter off separately in order to save time.
4. Chiefly British To secure some number of stitches in knitting and form an edge by lifting one stitch over the next: When the scarf was the correct length, I cast off. Cast off 12 stitches on the next row to make the neck edge. Make 5 stitches on the next row and cast them off.
See also: cast, off
References in periodicals archive ?
These are songs of women who have cast off their veil, of electricity that brings light to the villages, of water that makes the desert recede, of the illiterate who have become literate.
With such unusually large projections into the ocean, the shelves were primed to cast off big bergs.
In truth, we are all still dealing with the pain of our history, trying to cast off the shackles of the past.
The segment carrying the Pizza Hut logo will be cast off and burn up in the atmosphere before it reaches orbit.
The burly men of the soil from Devon cast off their overalls and posed in the buff for the camera - with farm implements, vegetables and animals for decency.
Sales have rebounded around the world following the launch of the colorful iMac desktop computer and a growing consensus that the technologically superior pioneer has cast off its moribund performance.
The gentry of Scotland's glens want to cast off their tweed suits image .
Molly Parker is virtually luminescent in the role of Sandra Larson, an apprentice undertaker and necrophile whose own life force is seemingly drawn from the energy cast off by the lovers she's inexorably drawn to.
To Vangelis's sentimental New Age music the startlingly slim, bikini-clad men strike oppressed poses, then cast off their burlap robes to leap in heady liberation.
The longest fragment is an appeal to young men to cast off their cowardly sloth and prepare to fight--and if necessary die--in defense of their country.
Their progress into English is all but inevitable, he says; the benefits of real bilingual competence should not be cast off casually.
With his modern vision of Batman, Burton cast off the 1960s camp depiction of the Dark Knight and launched one of the most successful comic book film series ever.
Next row re-join yarn at beginning of strap and cast off 23 sts, K to end.
AN injured soccer player threw his crutches down and ripped his cast off before hobbling on to score the winner with his broken right foot.
YOUNG fishermen cast off in pursuit of the Knowsley Junior Angler of the Year 2008 title.