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 ?
This is an essential public service that forms a part of everyday life for many people and we are having these cast-off, uncomfortable, unwanted London Underground trains forced upon us!
"Recycling is not some feel-good activity; it is one of the backbones of global economic development." To his way of thinking, recovering cast-offs and putting them to good use "are key ingredients to industrial growth and stability."
Cast-off tires are reused in two basic ways: ground and added to other products, or burned as tire-derived fuels (TDFs).
Now we get cast-offs from the Newcastle area, where twice in the last couple of years they have received new fleets of low floor double-deckers.
The two skeletons ( made from pieces of steel cast-offs, tubing and, for their teeth, a discarded motorbike chain ( are causing quite a stir outside Drover's Forge at Leadgate, Consett, County Durham.
The Society of Motor Auctions is expecting large volumes of ex-fleet cast-offs to hit the market after Easter, which will push prices down.
BEFORE anyone starts to panic about who we should be buying and paying outlandish wages for other clubs' cast-offs, we would do well to remember that success will not be bought overnight David Moyes has done us proud on 'bargain buys' and we also have more potential for investment than we did a year ago.
In front of a raucous and unrelenting sell-out crowd, Detroit closed out the best of seven series in five games for their first title in 14 years, led by Larry Brown, the nomadic coach who led a group of cast-offs and convinced them that they could overcome tremendous odds by playing "the right way".
Last December, AVAF wallpapered John Connelly's gallery for K48's group show "Teenage Bedroom," and in the context of a pseudodomestic setting filled with other people's creations and cast-offs, their wraparound exuberance was somehow easier to absorb.
DAVID NICHOLLS has the Midas touch when taking on other trainers' cast-offs and former Mark Johnston inmate Regal Parade looks well worth supporting in the Spring Mile at Doncaster (2.50), writes Adam Bull.
She writes incredibly bland, average songs that sound like KT Tunstall's cast-offs.
HAS Penelope Cruz got a thing for Nicole Kidman's cast-offs?
CLASSIC cast-offs from A-list celebrities are fetching madder and madder money.
No doubt we'll be seeing this and more Rooney cast-offs on EBay soon,along with all those Will Young tickets.
ALISON THORPE has done well with other stables' cast-offs and she might have struck a bargain last May when she paid 6,500gns for Psychic Star, who runs in the 2.30 at Ludlow today.