cast / type-cast [printing]

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Senior Member

Could you tell me what does "cast" mean in the following definition?

Thank you.


2. (of text to be printed) having the type already cast.
  • In what dictionary did you find that definition?

    It usually means being selected for a part in a play or film.

    • 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.
    WR Dictionary


    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Seems like the dictionary is referring to the use in printing. The original way of printing text was to use movable type in a printing press (see, e.g., wiki). Those letters were created by casting a liquid metal in a mo(u)ld. Later, it became possible to "cast" a whole line of "type" in a special machine (named Linotype:D) . This was referred to as type-cast.


    Senior Member
    English USA, Northeast, NYC
    Doesn't this word also carry the meaning of "assigning an actor to a given kind of role because s/he has played it before" and seems to fit it well? E.g., the "action hero," the dumb blonde."
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