I. cast 1 W3 /kɑːst $ kæst/ BrE AmE verb ( past tense and past participle cast )
[ Date: 1100-1200 ; Language: Old Norse ; Origin: kasta ]
1 . cast light on/onto something to provide new information about something, making it easier to understand:
research findings that cast new light on the origin of our universe
The numerous biographies of Baldwin cast little light on the subject.
2 . cast doubt(s) on something to make people feel less certain about something:
Her documentary casts serious doubt on Gilligan’s conviction.
3 . LIGHT AND SHADE [transitive] literary to make light or a shadow appear somewhere
cast something over/on/across something
The flames cast dancing shadows on the walls.
the shade cast by low-hanging branches
4 . cast a shadow/cloud over something literary to make people feel less happy or hopeful about something:
The allegations cast a cloud over the Mayor’s visit.
Her father’s illness cast a shadow over the wedding celebrations.
5 . LOOK [transitive] literary to look quickly in a particular direction
cast a look/glance at somebody/something
She cast an anguished look at Guy.
cast somebody a glance/look
The young tramp cast him a wary glance.
She blushed, casting her eyes down.
6 . cast an eye on/over something to examine or read something quickly in order to judge whether it is correct, good etc:
Mellor cast an eye over the draft for inaccuracies.
cast a critical/expert etc eye
Tonight, Tim Goodman casts a cynical eye on TV ads.
7 . cast a vote/ballot to vote in an election:
Barely one in three will bother to cast a ballot on February 26th.
To qualify, candidates must get at least 10% of the votes cast.
⇨ ↑ casting vote
8 . cast a spell on/over somebody
a) to attract someone very strongly and to keep their attention completely:
Hong Kong casts a spell over the visitor almost as soon as the aircraft touches down.
b) to use magic words or acts to change someone or something:
She’s a witch, and she’ll cast a spell on you if she catches you.
9 . cast your mind back literary to try to remember something that happened in the past
cast your mind back to
Cast your mind back to your first day at school.
cast your mind back over
He frowned, casting his mind back over the conversation.
10 . cast aspersions on something/somebody formal to suggest that someone is not as truthful, honest etc as they seem:
remarks that cast aspersions on the integrity of the jury
11 . METAL [transitive] to make an object by pouring liquid metal, plastic etc into a ↑ mould (=hollow container)
cast something in/from something
a statue of a horse cast in bronze
12 . ACTING [transitive] to choose which people will act particular parts in a play, film etc
cast somebody alongside/opposite somebody (=choose people for the two main roles)
Pfeiffer was expected to be cast alongside Douglas in ‘Basic Instinct’.
cast somebody as something
Coppola cast him as Sodapop in ‘The Outsiders’.
cast somebody in a role/a part/the lead
The producer finally cast Finsh in the male lead.
13 . DESCRIBE [transitive] to regard or describe someone as a particular type of person
cast somebody as something
Clinton had cast himself as the candidate of new economic opportunity.
Clarke’s trying to cast me in the role of villain here.
14 . THROW [transitive always + adverb/preposition] literary to throw something somewhere SYN toss :
Sparks leapt as he cast more wood on the fire.
15 . FISHING [intransitive and transitive] to throw a fishing line or net into the water:
There’s a trick to casting properly.
16 . SEND AWAY [transitive always + adverb/preposition] literary to force someone to go somewhere unpleasant
cast somebody into prison/Hell etc
Memet should, in her opinion, be cast into prison.
17 . cast your net (far and) wide to consider or try as many things as possible in order to find what you want:
We cast our net wide to get the right person for the job.
18 . SKIN [transitive] when a snake casts its skin, the top layer of skin falls off slowly SYN shed
19 . cast a shoe if a horse casts a shoe, the shoe falls off by accident
20 . cast a horoscope to prepare and write a ↑ horoscope for someone
⇨ the die is cast at ↑ die 2 (3), ⇨ throw in/cast your lot with somebody/something at ↑ lot 2 (8), ⇨ cast pearls before swine at ↑ pearl (4)
cast about/around for something phrasal verb
to try hard to think of the right thing to do or say:
She cast about frantically for an excuse.
Telecoms companies are casting around for ways of recouping huge losses.
cast somebody/something ↔ aside phrasal verb literary
to remove or get rid of someone or something because you no longer want or need them:
When Henry became King, he cast aside all his former friends.
cast aside your inhibitions/doubts etc
Cast aside your fears.
cast away phrasal verb [usually passive]
to be left alone on a lonely shore or island because your ship has sunk:
If you were cast away on a desert island, what would you miss most?
cast off phrasal verb
1 . to untie the rope that fastens your boat to the shore so that you can sail away
2 . cast somebody/something ↔ off literary to remove or get rid of something or someone that you no longer want or need:
His family had cast him off without a penny.
3 . to finish a piece of ↑ knitting by removing the stitches from the needle to make an edge that will not come undone
cast something ↔ off
Cast off four stitches.
cast on phrasal verb
to start a piece of ↑ knitting by making the first stitches on the needle
cast something ↔ on
Cast on 132 stitches.
cast somebody/something ↔ out phrasal verb
literary to force someone or something to leave a place:
God has cast out the demons from your soul.
cast something ↔ up phrasal verb literary
if the sea casts something up, it carries it onto the shore:
A body had been cast up on the rocks.
II. cast 2 BrE AmE noun [countable]
1 . ACTORS all the people who perform in a play, film etc
Films like ‘Ben Hur’ have a cast of thousands.
the entire cast of ‘Les Misérables’
an all-star cast
a strong supporting cast (=everyone except the main actors)
a member of the cast
2 . ON ARM/LEG ( also plaster cast ) a hard protective case that is put over your arm, leg etc because the bone is broken:
Murray has his leg in a cast.
3 . FOR MAKING A SHAPE a ↑ mould (=hollow container) into which you pour liquid metal, plastic etc in order to make an object of a particular shape, or the object made in this way
Make a cast of the statue.
4 . sb’s cast of mind formal the way that a person thinks and the type of opinions or mental abilities they have:
Mary was of a far less intellectual cast of mind.
5 . FISHING the act of throwing a fishing line into the water
6 . COLOUR literary a small amount of a particular colour:
Sage leaves have a silvery cast.
7 . EYE old-fashioned a problem with your eye which causes it to look sideways
8 . EARTH a small pile of earth that a ↑ worm produces on the surface of the ground
• • •
▪ a strong cast (=a lot of good actors)
The play has a strong cast of new young actors.
▪ a talented cast
It's a fantastic production with an enormously talented cast.
▪ an all-star/a star-studded/a stellar cast (=a lot of very famous actors)
The movie features an all-star cast.
▪ a supporting cast (=all the actors except the main ones)
There’s also a fine supporting cast.
▪ have a cast
The play had a cast of almost unknown actors.
▪ head the cast (=be the main actor)
Al Pacino heads the cast of this political thriller.
■ cast + NOUN
▪ a cast member/a member of the cast
Everyone remembers the cast members of 'Friends’.
▪ the cast list (=list of members)
The movie has an impressive cast list.