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 cook-off dance-off

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb For those who can’t fully unplug due to work commitments, there should still be a clear plan in place, like only checking emails in the morning or while your partner is off exploring on their own. Patrice J. Williams, Travel + Leisure, "9 Mistakes That Could Ruin Your Romantic Couples' Trip," 12 July 2020 The major indexes are all in the red, with the Shanghai Composite's off 2%. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, "‘Crazy’ bull market: Why a warning shot about China’s bull run is spooking global investors," 10 July 2020 But those are projected to be off 18 percent this year, compared to the 2017-2018 season. Gregory Scruggs, Washington Post, "Coronavirus forces economic reckoning in central Washington’s cherry country," 9 July 2020 In a special meeting Friday afternoon, the Fremont Unified School District Board of Education voted 3-2 to start the school year with distance learning, which means teachers will use virtual instruction and classrooms will remain off-limits. Anna Bauman, SFChronicle.com, "Fremont schools to begin year with distance learning," 11 July 2020 In addition, there will be no character meet and greets, and playgrounds and water effects will be off-limits. Travel + Leisure, "Check Out the First Photos of Disney World's Cinderella Castle Makeover," 9 July 2020 Those destinations remain off-limits to foreigners, too, for now, helping swell the numbers of people streaming westward to Sochi and the Crimean Peninsula that Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014. USA TODAY, "In Russia and Ukraine, no social distance on crowded beaches during COVID-19," 9 July 2020 The only problem Arington has encountered so far is breaking the news to his grandsons and employees that the players are off-limits because of the COVID-19 protocols. John Fay, The Enquirer, "How the Cincinnati Reds found a home away from GABP at Prasco Park in Mason," 7 July 2020 Beaches that had been open for the traditional start of summer over Memorial Day weekend will be off-limits in many places this time, including South Florida, Southern California and the Texas Gulf Coast. John Seewer, Anchorage Daily News, "‘Huge bummer’: Fourth of July will test Americans’ discipline during pandemic," 3 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition Classic cars, hot rods, muscle cars, off-road vehicles and antique cars on show. Luann Gibbs, The Enquirer, "Things to do in Cincinnati this week, July 12-18," 13 July 2020 Also called off were the one-on-one introductions arranged by dozens of Japan's matchmaking companies, which can charge monthly fees as high as $200 for the many in Japan who don't want to go solo into the online dating world. Washington Post, "Lockdowns make the heart grow fonder in Japan as online matchmaking surges," 12 July 2020 Most contracts for non-conference games include language that is intended to allow for the game to be canceled, with no payment due, if it is called off for reasons beyond the schools’ control. Steve Berkowitz And Aria Gerson, USA TODAY, "Pac-12 decision to play conference-only schedule comes at a heavy price for USC-Alabama game," 11 July 2020 Clay Millican fell from the first to the sixth spot after his second qualifying run was called off due to rain. Michael Mccleary, The Indianapolis Star, "Tommy Johnson earns No. 1 Funny Car qualifying spot, Tony Schumacher qualifies in NHRA return," 11 July 2020 Lady Gaga and Christian Carino called off an engagement. Glamour, "The Biggest Celebrity Breakups of 2020," 11 July 2020 The family of the victims in the case had requested that it be called off because their fear of the coronavirus would keep them from attending. Michael Balsamo, Fox News, "US appeals to proceed with 1st federal execution in 17 years," 11 July 2020 The search was called off Thursday, troopers said, and Yocom’s family was notified. Tess Williams, Anchorage Daily News, "Search called off for Wasilla man who was swept into Copper River," 9 July 2020 As the Giants called off their workout, unable to proceed until receiving results from tests taken over the weekend, it was learned that A’s pitcher Jesus Luzardo has tested positive. Bruce Jenkins, SFChronicle.com, "Only days into baseball’s experiment, it already seems doomed," 7 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective An off-duty officer in 2016 cited by Las Vegas police for urinating in public. John Caniglia, cleveland, "Report blasts former Cleveland Public Safety Director Michael McGrath for being lenient with problem police officers," 13 July 2020 The off-duty sheriff's deputy was taken to University of Louisville Hospital, Yates said, where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries and released Sunday morning. Lucas Aulbach, The Courier-Journal, "Jefferson County sheriff's deputy among 2 injured Saturday night in crash," 13 July 2020 An off-duty Warren police officer is facing four charges after he was arrested for allegedly assaulting two people in Washington Township on the Fourth of July, the Macomb County Sheriff's Office said Friday. Christina Hall, Detroit Free Press, "Off-duty Warren police officer charged in assaults in Washington Township," 10 July 2020 An off-duty sheriff’s assistant, Autumn, provided updates and brought them food with her husband. Matthias Gafni, SFChronicle.com, "‘Dad’s been shot’: Harrowing story of a Danville family’s tragic off-roading trip," 7 July 2020 An off-duty Milwaukee police officer and his wife were involved in a scuffle with protesters Sunday night, according to a local photographer who says the officer assaulted her. Sophie Carson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Photographer says off-duty officer assaulted her at protest; police say the 'incident is under review'," 6 July 2020 Williams was working an off-duty security shift and, apparently attracted to this new customer, followed her around the store. Peter Hermann, Washington Post, "D.C. police officer who died of covid-19 spent life, career mentoring children," 3 July 2020 An off-duty Dallas police officer was attacked from behind Thursday night after telling a group to leave a closed pool area at an apartment complex, authorities said. Fox News, "Off-duty Dallas police officer beaten to ground after trying to disperse crowd, police say," 29 June 2020 An off-duty Chambers County, Ala., sheriff’s deputy was charged with DUI and reckless endangerment after a wreck early Saturday morning, according to media reports. Lee Roop | Lroop@al.com, al, "Off-duty Chambers County deputy charged with DUI," 27 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 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

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for off

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for off

Last Updated

31 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Off.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/off. Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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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

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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

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