mid-14c., "an exile, a pariah, a person cast out or rejected," literally "that which is cast out," noun use of past participle of Middle English outcasten "to throw out or expel, reject," from out (adv.) + casten "to cast" (see cast (v.)). The adjective is attested from late 14c., "abject, socially despised." The verbal phrase cast out "discard, reject" is from c. 1200. In an Indian context, outcaste "one who has been expelled from his caste" is from 1876; see caste.