What Does To Cast Eyes Down Mean?

To Cast Eyes Down Meaning

Definition: To look downward, usually in modesty, shame, or sadness.

Origin of Cast Eyes Down

The exact origin of this expression is unclear. However, one of the definitions of cast down is to direct downward, especially eyes or a glance.

The concept of a gaze directed towards the ground is prominent in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. All three of these religions consider casting one’s eyes down to be modest and reverent to God.

Examples of Cast Eyes Down

Meaning of downward eyes The dialogue below shows two university students. They are discussing one of their classmates.

Nisha: I can’t believe we have to work with Alisha on that group project.

Alan: Really? What’s wrong with Alisha? She seems nice enough to me. I’ve worked with her on another project, and she’s a hard worker.

Nisha: It’s just that she’s always casting her eyes down when I try to talk to her. It’s like she’s embarrassed to talk to me.

Alan: I think she’s just introverted.

Define eyes cast downThe second dialogue shows a father and son. The father thinks his son is too disrespectful.

Son: Why won’t you let me go out with my friends?

Dad: Because I said so. As your father, I will make whatever decisions I think are best for you.

Son: Dad, all my friends are going. They’ll make fun of me. Don’t be a jerk.

Dad: What kind of way is that to talk to your father? Show some respect. Don’t look at me like that! Cast down your eyes! Go to your room.

Son: Fine!

More Examples

The article excerpt below is about a little girl with autism. The author is writing this article to a person who looked down when she observed someone else treating the autistic girl badly. This person looked downwards because she was sad and ashamed that some people don’t treat the girl with autism very well.

  • She wasn’t the least bit affected. You were, though. I saw it in the way you cast your eyes down so the little girl would not see the tears in your eyes. –Huffington Post

This excerpt describes tips for the workplace.

  • Keep your door open as much as possible, and don’t cast your eyes down every time an employee walks by your door. –Forbes


To cast one’s eyes down means to direct one’s gaze down. This often demonstrates modesty, sadness, shame.