off

adverb
\ ˈȯf How to pronounce off (audio) \

Definition of off

 (Entry 1 of 6)

1a(1) : from a place or position march off specifically : away from land ship stood off to sea
(2) : at a distance in space or time stood 10 paces off a long way off
b : from a course : aside turned off into a bypath specifically : away from the wind The ship eased off a point or two.
c : into an unconscious state dozed off
2a : so as to be separated from support rolled to the edge of the table and off or close contact blew the lid off the handle came off
b : so as to be divided surface marked off into squares
3a : to a state of discontinuance or suspension shut off an engine
b used as an intensifierdrink off a glassfinish it off
4 : in absence from or suspension of regular work or service take time off for lunch
5 : offstage The actor turns and goes off.

Definition of off (Entry 2 of 6)

1a used as a function word to indicate physical separation or distance from a position of rest, attachment, or uniontake it off the tablea path off the main walka shop just off the main street
b : to seaward of two miles off shore
2 : from the possession or charge of had his wallet stolen off him
3 used as a function word to indicate the object of an actionborrowed a dollar off himdined off oysters
4a used as a function word to indicate the suspension of an occupation or activityoff dutyoff liquor
b : below the usual standard or level of off his game

Definition of off (Entry 3 of 6)

1a : seaward
b : right
c : more removed or distant the off side of the building
2a : started on the way off on a spree
b : not taking place or staying in effect : canceled the deal was off
c : not operating
d : not placed so as to permit operation
3a : not corresponding to fact : incorrect off in his reckoning
c : not entirely sane : eccentric
d : remote, slight an off chance
4a : spent off duty reading on his off days
b : marked by a periodic decline in activity or business traveled in the off season for lower prices
b : inferior off grade of oil also : affected with putrefaction
c : down stocks were off
6 : circumstanced worse off

off

verb
offed; offing; offs

Definition of off (Entry 4 of 6)

intransitive verb

: to go away : depart used chiefly as an imperativeOff, or I'll shoot!

Definition of off (Entry 5 of 6)

office; officer; official
\ ˌȯf \

Definition of -off (Entry 6 of 6)

: competition : contest dance-off

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of off in a Sentence

Adverb She put on her jacket and off she went. The car turned off onto a side street. Preposition She is still living off her parents. The family lives off welfare. They live off the land. They make their living off tourism. Adjective The lever is in the off position. He is off playing golf. She is off on a trip. Verb The movie is about a gangster who gets power by offing his rivals. the hit man bragged that he'd offed at least three people in the last year alone
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Then cap the night off back in Midtown with seasonal craft cocktails at the wonderfully dark, moody, and very delicious Death and Taxes. Heather Platt, Los Angeles Magazine, "Reno: It’s Not Just The Place You Ignore While Skiing in Tahoe Anymore," 28 Aug. 2017 Even coming off the biggest win of his career—the Cincy title— SI.com, "2017 U.S. Open Men's Seed Reports," 26 Aug. 2017 Family and friends filled a hangar at the Illinois Army National Guard's Peoria aviation facility to send off 40 soldiers, including Specialist Dylan Ingersoll of Batavia, who are slated to spend the next several months in Afghanistan. Andy Kravetz, Aurora Beacon-News, "National Guard unit ready for stint in Afghanistan," 25 Aug. 2017 The combination of Tannehill not being all that great and replacement Jay Cutler being good enough means Miami has not fallen off much at the most important position. Greg Cote, miamiherald, "Dolphins’ Double-J offense will be enough to overcome shortcomings on D," 25 Aug. 2017 First off, Squidward is a total Krusty Krab traitor and Plankton actually looks like a villain. Stacey Grant, Seventeen, "This "SpongeBob SquarePants" Anime Opening Is Low-Key Nightmare Fuel," 24 Aug. 2017 Headaches are pretty awful at any time, but getting one in the A.M. is a sure-fire way to get your day off to crappy start. Korin Miller, SELF, "6 Causes of Morning Headaches," 24 Aug. 2017 A flight dispatcher’s job isn’t done when the plane takes off. Allison Hope, CNT, "This Person Is More in Control of Your Flight Than the Pilot," 24 Aug. 2017 If Elsevier cuts off access again, German researchers who want to read articles from Elsevier journals, among them Cell, The Lancet, and Physics Reports, will have to resort to measures such as interlibrary loans—or go to pirate sites like SciHub. Gretchen Vogel, Science | AAAS, "A bold open-access push in Germany could change the future of academic publishing," 23 Aug. 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Healthcare professionals and service employees are working around the clock to provide services to the masses without the solace of an off-day. Ineye Komonibo, refinery29.com, "The Count Of Monte Cristo," 23 Mar. 2020 The Reds had an off-day Wednesday, but there were 11,779 fans at the Chicago Cubs-San Diego Padres exhibition night game. Bobby Nightengale, Cincinnati.com, "How the Cincinnati Reds are reacting after spring training suspended, regular season delayed," 12 Mar. 2020 The Collective Bargaining Agreement decrees that teams cannot play more than 20 consecutive days without an off day without union approval. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, "MLB's journey into the unknown: Here's how baseball's coronavirus-delayed season could play out," 12 Mar. 2020 The 15-year-old was shot dead by an off-duty policeman on a Naples street last week after threatening the officer with a replica pistol, allegedly intending to steal his watch. The Economist, "No escape Italy is locked down to slow the spread of coronavirus," 10 Mar. 2020 Then, Milwaukee hosts night games Saturday and Sunday and will have another off-day the following Friday in the midst of Philadelphia's home-opening series. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "With seven national telecasts, all 162 Brewers games will be available on television," 9 Mar. 2020 From the outset, the off-day film session had many rolling their eyes. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "Cleveland Cavaliers’ season of self-inflicted wounds continues in collapse against Chicago," 19 Jan. 2020 There were countless times last season when Bates-Diop would go to the practice facility at 6, 7 p.m. after practice or on an off day, and Deng was often already there. Jace Frederick, Twin Cities, "The man behind Keita Bates-Diop’s success: former Timberwolves teammate Luol Deng," 14 Dec. 2019 With Sam Darnold having an off day, that was a recipe for disaster as the Jets returned to their familiar ways. Brad Biggs, chicagotribune.com, "NFL power rankings for Week 14: Bears sneak up to No. 15; Ravens tighten their grip on No. 1.," 3 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Simple Steps for Starting Your Business: Start-up Basics will be offed at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 24. cleveland, "Helping Hands program expands to Dover Intermediate School: West Shore Chatter," 17 Feb. 2020 Brabham is a gentle man who hardly seems capable of splatting a spider, much less offing a rodent. Andrea Sachs, chicagotribune.com, "‘These are working cats’: Meet the feral felines tasked with hunting rodents," 5 Nov. 2019 Brabham is a gentle man who hardly seems capable of splatting a spider, much less offing a rodent. Andrea Sachs, chicagotribune.com, "‘These are working cats’: Meet the feral felines tasked with hunting rodents," 5 Nov. 2019 Brabham is a gentle man who hardly seems capable of splatting a spider, much less offing a rodent. Andrea Sachs, chicagotribune.com, "‘These are working cats’: Meet the feral felines tasked with hunting rodents," 5 Nov. 2019 Brabham is a gentle man who hardly seems capable of splatting a spider, much less offing a rodent. Andrea Sachs, chicagotribune.com, "‘These are working cats’: Meet the feral felines tasked with hunting rodents," 5 Nov. 2019 Brabham is a gentle man who hardly seems capable of splatting a spider, much less offing a rodent. Andrea Sachs, chicagotribune.com, "‘These are working cats’: Meet the feral felines tasked with hunting rodents," 5 Nov. 2019 Brabham is a gentle man who hardly seems capable of splatting a spider, much less offing a rodent. Andrea Sachs, Washington Post, "‘These are working cats’: Meet the feral D.C. felines tasked with hunting rodents," 4 Nov. 2019 After offing one of the Toretto family’s loved ones and parachuting away from her airbase in The Fate of the Furious, Cipher will be back to again face off against Dom and company in Fast & Furious 9. Marcus Jones, EW.com, "Charlize Theron ditches the dreads for Cipher's return in Fast & Furious 9," 2 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'off.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of off

Adverb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

Preposition

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

1666, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1717, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for off

Adverb, Preposition, Adjective, and Verb

Middle English of, from Old English — more at of

Noun combining form

runoff

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about off

Time Traveler for off

Time Traveler

The first known use of off was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for off

Cite this Entry

“Off.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/off. Accessed 30 Mar. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for off

off

adverb
How to pronounce -off (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of off

 (Entry 1 of 4)

: away from a place
: away from a main road, path, etc.
: at a distance in time or space

English Language Learners Definition of off (Entry 2 of 4)

used to indicate separation, distance, or removal from someone or something
: on money, food, energy, etc., supplied by (someone or something)
used to indicate something that someone is no longer doing or using

English Language Learners Definition of off (Entry 3 of 4)

: not attached to or covering something : not on
: not operating, functioning, or flowing
: in a position that stops the flow of electricity, water, etc.

off

verb

English Language Learners Definition of off (Entry 4 of 4)

US slang : to kill or murder (someone)

off

adverb
\ ˈȯf How to pronounce off (audio) \

Kids Definition of off

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 : from a place or position He got angry and marched off.
2 : from a course : aside The driver turned off onto a side street.
3 : so as not to be supported, covering or enclosing, or attached I jumped off. The lid blew off. The handle fell off.
4 : so as to be discontinued or finished Turn the radio off. The couple paid off their debts.
5 : away from work I took the day off.

Kids Definition of off (Entry 2 of 4)

1 : away from the surface or top of Take those books off the table.
2 : at the expense of I lived off my parents.
3 : released or freed from The officer was off duty.
4 : below the usual level of We can save a dollar off the price.
5 : away from The hotel is just off the highway.

Kids Definition of off (Entry 3 of 4)

1 : not operating or flowing The radio is off. The electricity is off.
2 : not attached to or covering The lid is off.
3 : started on the way They're off on a trip.
4 : not taking place The game is off.
5 : not correct : wrong Your guess is way off.
6 : not as good as usual He's having an off day.
7 : provided for His family is well off.
8 : small in degree : slight There's an off chance I'll win.
9 : away from home or work He's off fishing.

Kids Definition of off.

office

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on off

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for off

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with off

Spanish Central: Translation of off

Nglish: Translation of off for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of off for Arabic Speakers

Comments on off

What made you want to look up off? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

March 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • field of crocuses
  • Which is a synonym of rectitudinous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!