cast off

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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 something

to get rid of something Shirts and ties were being cast off in favor of informal clothes for business.
Etymology: based on the literal meaning of cast off (to unfasten the ropes holding a ship)
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

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 ?
With such unusually large projections into the ocean, the shelves were primed to cast off big bergs.
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 .
He insists that African cinema must cast off the shackles of net-colonialism and solve the Herculean task of financing and marketing its films.
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.
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.
It then beams an image back to the display so the fisherman knows exactly where to cast off.
Booty unlikely: Freshman quarterback John David Booty said he won't get the cast off his broken wrist for two weeks, making it unlikely he could return in time to be cleared for the Rose Bowl.
She documents the struggle between the older generation and the younger generation, who want to cast off the old rules of what it means to be Chinese.