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. The phrase is often hyphenated in this usage. 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 ?
In the throes of desperation, they signed Yankees cast-off Steve Karsay to a minor-league contract.
Rogue wrappers and cast-off cartons are being targeted in a new bid to cut the amount of rubbish on streets, with food outlets being asked to sign up to a special code of practice.
Like some carnival sideshow Madonna, the therapist cradles a harlequin costume made of Vaisman's parents' cast-off clothes in her outstretched arms.
On Friday, ``American Idol's'' most notorious cast-off William Hung will offer his best off-key rendition of that tune and and others from his debut album ``Inspiration'' during a free concert at Six Flags California's Magic Mountain.
MILTON BRADLEY is a dab-hand at rejuvenating old sprinters, and Tadeo, a Mark Johnston cast-off, snapped up by his new trainer at the sales, rattled off his second victory in four days when landing the five-furlong handicap in the hands of apprentice Paul Fitzsimons.
Person began by transforming his house and fence, carving nearly every wood surface and polychroming it all with cast-off paint, wax crayons, and simple, jury-rigged tools, some of which were on display here.
The purpose of the Roundup is to spur recycling of one of the most potentially harmful cast-off consumer products from 95 percent to 100 percent nationwide.
The Ventura County Planning Commission rejected a request to allow Jane and Lucky Madsen to keep 40 boa constrictors and pythons as a sort of snake rescue center for cast-off pets.
Chris Dwyer got off the mark for the season when Salim, a well-bred cast-off from Sir Michael Stoute's yard, ran out a convincing winner of the conditions race under Francis Norton,.
But rather than convey a monumental solidity, these photographs conjure an unstable landscape of possible readings and associations, as if divining signs in the entrails of cast-off buildings.
In 1973, it received landmark designation as the Cast Iron District But it still felt like the cast-off district, too.
A Giants manager is expected to do his best with an underpaid roster of cast-off players and yearn silently for a job with a richer club.
It was reported at the weekend that Diana would be entitled to half the proceeds of the sale of 65 of her cast-off dresses.
Like Luna's anthropological displays of his body and his mundane possessions, this installation challenged the viewer to find the sacredness in ordinary and cast-off materials; but unlike them, it does so in a quasi-ritual setting.
The Bills' coach (Voight) scrambles to bolster his second-string team, hiring a collection of cast-off players, including a former star Notre Dame quarterback (Bellows) and wide receiver (Jones).