The Past Tense of Cast: Here’s What It Is and How to Use It

Have you ever got stuck on the correct past tense of the word cast in the English language? This article will explain the conjugations of the word cast and also define cast and give you all the information you need about the word.

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What Is the Definition of the Word Cast?

The word cast is defined as:

Intransitive verb 

  • to throw.
  • to receive form in a mold.
  • to calculate or add.
  • to conjecture; forecast.
  • (of hounds) to search an area for scent:
    • The setter cast, but found no scent.
  • to warp, as timber.
  • Nautical. (of a vessel) to turn, especially to get the head away from the wind; tack.
  • to select the actors for a play, motion picture, or the like.
  • Obsolete.
  • to consider.
  • to plan or scheme.

Transitive verb 

  • to throw or hurl; fling:
    • The gambler cast the dice.
  • to throw off or away:
    • He cast the advertisement in the wastebasket.
  • to direct (the eye, a glance, etc.), especially in a cursory manner:
    • She cast her eyes down the page.
  • to cause to fall upon something or in a certain direction; send forth:
    • to cast a soft light; to cast a spell; to cast doubts.
  • to draw (lots), as in telling fortunes.
  • Angling.
    • to throw out (a fishing line, net, bait, etc.):
      • The fisherman cast his line.
    • to fish in (a stream, an area, etc.):
      • He has often cast this brook.
    • to throw down or bring to the ground:
      • She cast herself on the sofa.
  • to part with; lose:
    • The horse cast a shoe.
  • to shed or drop (hair, fruit, etc.):
    • The snake cast its skin.
  • (of an animal) to bring forth (young), especially abortively.
  • to send off (a swarm), as bees do.
  • to throw or set aside; discard or reject; dismiss:
    • He cast the problem from his mind.
  • to throw forth, as from within; emit or eject; vomit.
  • to throw up (earth, sod, etc.), as with a shovel.
  • to put or place, especially hastily or forcibly:
    • to cast someone in prison.
  • to deposit or give (a ballot or vote).
  • to bestow; confer:
    • to cast blessings upon someone.
  • to make suitable or accordant; tailor:
    • He cast his remarks to fit the occasion.
  • Theater.
  • to select actors for (a play, motion picture, or the like).
  • to allot a role to (an actor).
  • to assign an actor to (a role).
  • to form (an object) by pouring metal, plaster, etc., in a fluid state into a mold and letting it harden.
  • to form (metal, plaster, etc.) into a particular shape by pouring it into a mold in a fluid state and letting it harden.
  • to tap (a blast furnace).
  • to compute or calculate; add, as a column of figures.
  • to compute or calculate (a horoscope) astrologically; forecast.
  • to turn or twist; warp.
  • Nautical. to turn the head of (a vessel), especially away from the wind in getting under way.
  • Fox Hunting. (of a hunter) to lead or direct (hounds) over ground believed to have been recently traveled by a fox.


  • act of casting or throwing.
  • that which is thrown.
  • the distance to which a thing may be cast or thrown.
  • Games.
    • a throw of dice.
    • the number rolled.
  • Angling.
    • act of throwing a line or net onto the water.
    • a spot for casting a fishing line; a fishing place.

What Is the Past Tense of Cast?

The past tense of cast is spelled the exact same “cast”. An example of present and past being used would be:

Present – You cast on the other side of the boat.

Past – I cast my light down the dark path but I never saw the tree branch below my feet as it tripped me and cast me to the ground. 

How Do You Conjugate Cast?

Here are some conjugations of the irregular verb cast including the past tense verb forms:

Infinitive: to cast 

Past participle of cast: cast

Present participle: casting

Past perfect (third person): had cast

Present TenseSimple, PastFuture
I castcastAm casting
You castcastAre casting
He/she/it castscastIs casting
We castcastAre casting
They castcastAre casting

The History and Origin of the Word

The first instances of the word cast being used was somewhere between 1175-1225. The modern English word is derived from the Middle English word at the time, caseten which was from Old Norse kasta which meant to throw. 

Examples of the Word in Context


Next time you need to write the word cast, you will be well prepared for everything you need to know what it is and how to use it efficiently. You should feel confident with the different conjugations, the history of the word, and the definition in both American English and British English.