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. verb To reject or renounce someone. A noun or pronoun can be used between "cast" and "off." The new dictator immediately cast off everyone in the government, replacing them with his personal supporters. Can you believe her boyfriend just cast her off like that, via text?
6. 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.
7. 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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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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.
Boosting margin with inexpensive impulse items isn't a new idea, but perhaps you can think of a way to turn your interests, or other people's castoffs, into more sales at your store.
Set inside pseudo-3D versions of the classic coin-op mazes, up to four players try to trap Pac-Man while attacking each other with a handful of Mario Kart castoffs. It's almost enough to make you want to overdose on pills yourself.
In 1985, we bought roughly 31 clothing items per year; now we snap up twice that many thanks to "fast fashion." (See "What Not to Wear," page 68.) Cline explores the origins of this shift--think the Gap circa mid-1990s--as she tours cheap-chic factories in China and clothing "landfills" (charity stores) where the castoffs pile up.
"They are not prepared to accept Europe's castoffs any more," he said.
Viola Frey began her life work in ceramics but became a painter, sculptor and photographer, blending her mediums and finding inspiration in flea-market castoffs and curiosities.
The rescue and transport of some of these castoffs is one part of Best Friends Animal Society's "Puppies Aren't Products" campaign (puppiesarentproducts.com), which also targets the retail end of the puppy mill industry through informational demonstrations.
But one can't help wishing for a bit of handy nomenclature to categorize the abundance of recent work in which rigorously formal propositions achieve an odd, uneasy detente with, well, junk--tchotchkes, castoffs, discount-bin merchandise.
And while everyone else was watching the action on the court, RecycleMax Inc., Dearborn, Mich., was quietly removing the fans' castoffs.
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.
If you want, let buds sift through the castoffs first.
In 1997, the concept struck Jason Walsh like a snowball: chairs, tables, clocks, and speaker stands made out of snowboard castoffs. Four years later, he's still at it, merging scrap steel and snowboards into unique pieces of home decor that go by the name of Nuclear Winter Snowboard Furniture.
The XFL will get what it pays for: teams made up of NFL castoffs and college has-beens.