noun off·set \ˈf-ˌset\

Definition of OFFSET

a archaic :  outset, start
b :  cessation
a (1) :  a short prostrate lateral shoot arising from the base of a plant (2) :  a small bulb arising from the base of another bulb
b :  a lateral or collateral branch (as of a family or race) :  offshoot
c :  a spur from a range of hills
a :  a horizontal ledge on the face of a wall formed by a diminution of its thickness above
b :  displacement
c :  an abrupt change in the dimension or profile of an object or the part set off by such change
:  something that sets off to advantage or embellishes something else :  foil
:  an abrupt bend in an object by which one part is turned aside out of line
:  something that serves to counterbalance or to compensate for something else; especially :  either of two balancing ledger items
a :  unintentional transfer of ink (as from a freshly printed sheet)
b :  a printing process in which an inked impression from a plate is first made on a rubber-blanketed cylinder and then transferred to the paper being printed
offset adjective or adverb

Examples of OFFSET

  1. <a better performance this time will be an offset to last year's dismal showing>
  2. <symptoms that were striking for their abrupt onset and their equally abrupt offset>

First Known Use of OFFSET

circa 1555

Other Architecture Terms

buttress, casita, cornice, fanlight, garret, lintel, parapet, pilaster, plinth


verb off·set \ˈf-ˌset, vt senses are also f-ˈ\

: to cancel or reduce the effect of (something) : to create an equal balance between two things


Full Definition of OFFSET

transitive verb
a :  to place over against something :  balance <credits offset debits>
b :  to serve as a counterbalance for :  compensate <his speed offset his opponent's greater weight>
:  to form an offset in <offset a wall>
intransitive verb
:  to become marked by offset

Examples of OFFSET

  1. Gains in one area offset losses in another.
  2. The limited storage space in the house is offset by the large garage.

First Known Use of OFFSET

OFFSETTING Defined for Kids


verb off·set \ˈf-ˌset\

Definition of OFFSET for Kids

:  to make up for <Gains in one state offset losses in another.>


Next Word in the Dictionary: offset archPrevious Word in the Dictionary: off–seasonAll Words Near: offset
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