cast iron

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See also: castiron and cast-iron


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Derived from the casting of this form of iron. See wrought iron for comparison.


cast iron (countable and uncountable, plural cast irons)

  1. A hard and brittle, but strong, alloy of iron, carbon, and silicon, formed by casting in a mould.
    Cast iron is popular for cookware where an even heating temperature is important.

Derived terms[edit]



A cast-iron frying pan

cast iron (comparative more cast iron, superlative most cast iron)

  1. (not comparable) Made of cast iron.
    I use a cast iron skillet for frying pancakes.
    • 1851, Frederick Overman, “Blast Pipes”, in The Manufacture of Iron, in All its Various Branches. [] , 2nd edition, Philadelphia: Henry C. Baird, page 413:
      Various forms of conductors have been invented, such as wooden and iron pipes, of a round, square, and polygonal section; but at present, scarcely any other than sheet or cast iron pipes are employed.
    • 1979 May, Ernest Gueymard, “Louisiana's Creole-Acadian Cuisine”, in Renaud S. Albert, editor, A Franco-American Overview[1], volume 1, →ISBN, page 295:
      The old black cast iron skillet is an important part of the batterie de cuisine.
    • 2008, Steven P. Moysey, The Road to Balcombe Street: The IRA Reign of Terror in London, Binghamton, N.Y.: Haworth Press, →ISBN, page 58:
      Three small gelignite bombs, with pocket watch timing devices, were concealed in packets small enough to fit through the slot of the standard cast-iron post box, the cylindrical bright red colored boxes so common throughout London.
  2. Durable; tough; resilient.
    Ernest has a cast iron constitution and never gets sick.
    • 1932 January, Charles W. Purcell, “Stop Telling the Pilot What to Do”, in Popular Aviation[2], volume 10, number 1, →ISSN, page 62:
      Just because a pilot passes a pretty severe medical test every so often, it doesn't mean that he has a Cast Iron constitution and can fly indefinitely.
  3. Inflexible or without exception.
    The school's cast iron policy on admissions fees left no leeway for needy students.
    • 2016 March 19, Rod Liddle, “What makes the white working class angry? Twits like Hsiao-Hung Pai”, in The Spectator:
      As far as her own theories are concerned, she is limitlessly credulous, to a degree which makes me suspect that she is a cast-iron idiot.


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