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cast a wide net

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WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2015
cast /kæst/USA pronunciation v., cast, cast•ing,n. 

  • [+ object] to throw or hurl;
    fling: to cast dice.
  • [+ object] to direct (the eye, etc.):She kept casting glances at me across the room.
  • [+ object] to cause to fall; put or send forth: This special lightbulb casts a soft light.
  • [+ object] to draw (lots), as in telling fortunes:The soldiers cast lots to see who would draw guard duty.
  • Sport[+ object] to throw out (a fishing line, etc.):I was casting my line from the shore when it got tangled with hers.
  • [+ object] to shed or drop: The snake cast its skin.
  • [+ object] to put or place, esp. by force: The villain was cast into prison.
  • [+ object] to deposit or give (a ballot):cast his ballot for president.
  • [+ object] to form or arrange; plan out: He cast his speech in more military terms.
    • [+ object] to select actors for (a play, etc.):The directors and producers were casting the part of Hamlet.
    • to assign a role to (an actor): [+ object]They cast him in the role of Caesar.[+ object + as + object]They cast him as Hamlet in their production.
  • [+ object] to form (an object) by pouring metal, etc., into a mold and letting it harden:The statue was cast from bronze.
  • cast about or around ,
    • [+ about/around + object] to search; look:I cast about the room to find a container.
    • [ + for + obj] to seek:always casting around for some way to make more money.
    • [no object] to devise a plan; scheme:She was casting about to get the boss's attention.
    cast away or aside,
    • to reject;
      discard: [+ away/aside + object]They cast aside our objections.[+ object + away/aside]Don't cast it away.
  • cast back, [+ object + back] to refer to something past; go back to something past:I cast my mind back to the days of my childhood.
  • cast off,
    • [ + off + obj] to discard;
      throw away;
      reject:We cast off our doubts and signed the contract.
    • to let go or let loose, as a ship from a mooring: [+ off + object]The sailors cast off the ropes and set sail.[+ object + off]They cast the ropes off and set sail.
    • [+ off + object] to complete a knitted fabric by looping over or removing (the final stitches):began to cast off the last row of stitches.
  • cast out, [+ out + object] to force to leave; expel;
    banish:They said he could cast out demons and heal the sick.

  • n. [countable]
  • the act of throwing.
    • a throw of dice:After each cast, the player may bid or take a card.
  • Sportthe act of throwing a fishing line or net onto the water:My first cast went out about fifteen feet.
  • Show Business[usually singular] the group of performers in a play, etc.; players:The cast threw a party after the last performance.
    • something made by pouring liquid metal, etc., into a mold and letting it harden.
  • Medicinea rigid, hard covering used to protect and hold in place a broken bone:They put my arm in a cast.
  • sort;
    quality: minds of a philosophical cast.
  • a turning of the eye to the side.

  • Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

    cast /kɑːst/ vb (casts, casting, cast)(mainly tr)
    1. to throw or expel with violence or force
    2. to throw off or away: she cast her clothes to the ground
    3. to reject or dismiss: he cast the idea from his mind
    4. to shed or drop: the snake cast its skin, the horse cast a shoe, the ship cast anchor
    5. to cause to appear: to cast a shadow
    6. to express (doubts, suspicions, etc) or cause (them) to be felt
    7. to direct (a glance, attention, etc): cast your eye over this
    8. to place, esp in a violent manner: he was cast into prison
    9. (also intr) to throw (a line) into the water
    10. to draw or choose (lots)
    11. to give or deposit (a vote)
    12. to select (actors) to play parts in (a play, film, etc)
    13. to shape (molten metal, glass, etc) by pouring or pressing it into a mould
    14. to make (an object) by such a process
    15. (also intr) often followed by up: to compute (figures or a total)
    16. to draw on (a horoscope) details concerning the positions of the planets in the signs of the zodiac at a particular time for interpretation in terms of human characteristics, behaviour,
    17. to contrive (esp in the phrase cast a spell)
    18. to formulate: he cast his work in the form of a chart
    19. (also intr) to twist or cause to twist
    20. (intransitive) (of birds of prey) to eject from the crop and bill a pellet consisting of the indigestible parts of birds or animals previously eaten
    21. to stereotype or electrotype
    1. the act of casting or throwing

    2. Also called: casting something that is shed, dropped, or egested, such as the coil of earth left by an earthworm
    3. another name for pellet
    4. the distance an object is or may be thrown
    5. a throw at dice
    6. the resulting number shown
    7. the act or an instance of casting
    8. the wide sweep made by a sheepdog to get behind a flock of sheep or by a hunting dog in search of a scent
    9. the actors in a play collectively
    10. (as modifier): a cast list
    11. an object made of metal, glass, etc, that has been shaped in a molten state by being poured or pressed into a mould
    12. the mould used to shape such an object
    13. form or appearance
    14. sort, kind, or style
    15. a fixed twist or defect, esp in the eye
    16. a distortion of shape
    17. a rigid encircling casing, often made of plaster of Paris, for immobilizing broken bones while they heal
    18. a slight tinge or trace, as of colour
    19. fortune or a stroke of fate

    See also cast about, castawayEtymology: 13th Century: from Old Norse kasta

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