cast off

(redirected from castoffs)

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 classic literature ?
An artist friend fitted her out with his castoff palettes, brushes, and colors, and she daubed away, producing pastoral and marine views such as were never seen on land or sea.
The philanthropist too often surrounds mankind with the remembrance of his own castoff griefs as an atmosphere, and calls it sympathy.
The rescue and transport of some of these castoffs is one part of Best Friends Animal Society's "Puppies Aren't Products" campaign (puppiesarentproducts.
As the line runs, workers hurl castoffs such as the beleaguered Santa onto a trash pile.
The great recycling bin in which art history, critical theory, and market analysis dispose of their castoffs is crawling with post-ironic ironists scavenging for material not yet reworked.
I didn't know at the time that my used textbooks were castoffs and that our science and athletic equipment represented the hand-me-downs from white schools in the district.
Britons are being urged to take their castoffs to their local Cancer Research UK charity shop.
The XFL will get what it pays for: teams made up of NFL castoffs and college has-beens.
The store specializes in celebrity castoffs that have been used on shows such as Moesha, Port Charles and Beverly Hills 90210.
Clumping offstage as the bald, gnarly-toothed, wooden-legged man-servant Nicodemus Underwood and then gliding back on in Scarlett O'Hara castoffs as Lady Enid Hillcrest, Quinton clearly relishes the opportunity to show off the results of a lifetime of making faces in the mirror.
While some of the castoffs will be passed on to other family members or used for games and educational software, most are expected to be mothballed-relegated to closets, the basement, or a corner of the guest room.
The shuttle and its crew of six landed safely Monday morning after they flew up to the space station, dropped off some goodies and supplies, did some experiments and tests, gave a ride home to an astronaut and returned home with castoffs and trash from the space station.
The title's reuse reflects the artist's ability to breathe new life into castoffs, and the phrase itself notes his penchant for soapbox-derby technology and lemonade-stand production budgets.
As colloids, the chemically stable castoffs can hitch a ride downstream, carrying radioactive contamination far from its source (SN: 3/17/90, p.
Among Rick Thompson's fast-vanishing castoffs from his film industry job were 50-foot-long hoses used to create rainstorms and fake boulders, props from ``Starship Troopers.