hand off

verb

handed off; handing off; hands off
1
transitive
a
: to transfer (something) to another's possession
Back in California, the contraband was handed off to Wen and Tan, who arranged to have the phones shipped to their contacts in Asia. Matthew Shaer
Robert Polk … comes in carrying a gorgeous brisket fresh from the smoker and hands it off to Smitty, who starts slicing it to make sandwiches and plates. Patricia Sharpe
b
: to pass or delegate (a task or responsibility) to another
I know how it feels … to wish I could hand off this never-ending responsibility and just go to the movies, any movie, without a diaper and a bottle in my bag. Gwenda Blair
Inundated by more information than we can possibly hold in our heads, we're increasingly handing off the job of remembering to search engines and smart phones. Annie Murphy Paul
2
transitive + intransitive, American football : to hand the ball to a nearby teammate on a play
The draw is a simple football play, a running play in which the quarterback delays before handing off the ball. Frank Litsky
New York center Mel Hein snapped the ball to quarterback Harry Newman, who handed off to halfback Ken Strong, who tried to sweep around left end. Peter King
handoff noun
plural handoffs
The quarterback faked a handoff to the running back.
When a product moves through the departments and functions of hundreds of savants, an enormous amount of time is wasted in handoffs between those functions and specialists and in checking and redoing work. Ronald L. Nicol

Word History

First Known Use

1799, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of hand off was in 1799

Dictionary Entries Near hand off

Cite this Entry

“Hand off.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hand%20off. Accessed 26 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

handoff

noun

hand·​off
ˈhan-ˌdȯf
: the act of handing the ball to a teammate (as in football)
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