cast iron

an alloy of iron, carbon, and other elements, cast as a soft and strong, or as a hard and brittle, iron, depending on the mixture and methods of molding.

1655–65; cast (past participle of cast1) + iron Unabridged


[kast-ahy-ern, kahst-]
made of cast iron.
not subject to change or exception: a cast-iron rule.
hardy: a cast-iron stomach.

1655–65 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
cast iron
1.  iron containing so much carbon (1.7 to 4.5 per cent) that it cannot be wrought and must be cast into shape
2.  made of cast iron
3.  rigid, strong, or unyielding: a cast-iron decision

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

cast iron
1660s, from cast (pp. adj.) "made by melting and being left to harden in a mold" (1530s), from cast (v.) in sense "to throw something in a particular way" (c.1300).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Look for a wok that is heavy aluminum, stainless steel or traditional cast-iron.
The machine is finished now, except a cast-iron sole and cast-iron back.
Stock up on handmade shoes, flannel shirts, and cast-iron pans.
The restaurant uses an outdoor cast-iron pit for barbecuing and serves up such
  smoked meats as sausage, pork loin and sliced beef.
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