Cast the first stone

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Cast the first stone is an idiom with religious roots. We will examine the meaning of the idiom cast the first stone, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences.

To cast the first stone means to be quick to point the finger, blame, chastise, or punish someone who has done something wrong. The phrase cast the first stone is often used in an admonition to not be the person who casts the first stone or is the quickest to find fault; the sentiment is that everyone has erred or sinned and no one is superior to another in that respect. The idiom cast the first stone is taken from an incident recorded in the New Testament of the Bible, when Jesus was challenged to stone an adulteress to death as prescribed by the current religious law. Jesus, instead, said, “He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone at her.” Of course, no one took up that challenge, and the woman was allowed to depart.


Mr. Madigan has cast the first stone so surely he is the anointed one to replace the sinful Mr. Douglas. (The Alton Telegraph)

“No one was belligerent until the cops were; they were the ones that cast the first stone.” (The St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Dan Curtin, president of Lightlife Foods, cast the first stone when his company published an open letter to Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods in advertisements in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. (Drovers Magazine)

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