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 ?
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.
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.
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.
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,.
Big black and white silk-screen paintings of boxers were stacked against a wall in a tiny back bedroom, a wall heater in the hall had been converted into a magazine rack stocked with cult periodicals, and the bedroom closet was solidly packed with cast-off clothes.
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.
A negative I for one think that it is time for Brucey to step down and take most of the second-rate cast-offs with him.
He follows the trail to Ghana, the biggest importer of our cast-offs. One million pounds' worth of our old clothes arrive here every week.
As well as following the SATC cast on the promotional trail, this week they have got a bit of Barbie mania, are loving the Topshop targets breast cancer vests, and finding out where in Liverpool you can buy celebrity cast-offs.
FAMOUS faces bartered with bargain hunters yesterday as they queued up to buy celebrity cast-offs.
When Stagecoach had operations in London we received in this area cast-offs from there.
Couples with five, eight, ten children don't even try to keep up with the Joneses (in fact, their kids are probably wearing the Joneses' cast-offs).
I also had other people's cast-offs and was very grateful.
Brian Ellison has done well with big stable cast-offs before - November Handicap winner and former Mark Johnson inmate Carte Diamond being the best example - and he could not hide his enthusiasm for this ex-Luca Cumani-trained horse in a pre-race interview