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.
3. To leave someone to float on a body of water without control or anchorage. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "cast" and "adrift." That awful storm cast us adrift in the Atlantic for 17 days before a rescue party found us.
4. To let someone go or cause them to be freed or lost; to no longer support someone. Likened to a ship that is left to drift without an anchor or moorings to a dock. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "cast" and "adrift." I think it's about time that we cast the extremists of the party adrift. Her parents cut her adrift after they found drugs in her room.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
cast (or cut) someone adrift1 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.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017