off and on


: with periodic cessation : intermittently
rained off and on all day
off-and-on adjective
They have an off-and-on relationship.
off-and-on work

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Orbital plans to use the money to develop medicines and vaccines that rely on RNA molecules, which deliver instructions from DNA to the body’s protein-making machinery and help to turn genes off and on. Jonathan Saltzman,, 26 Apr. 2023 Yeah, a year and half, off and on. Katie Bain, Billboard, 21 Mar. 2022 The Institute has appeared, off and on, in the pages of IEEESpectrum since debuting as a four-page insert in the December 1976 issue. IEEE Spectrum, 7 Mar. 2023 Cyrus and Hemsworth's relationship was off and on across the last decade. Joey Nolfi,, 13 Jan. 2023 For years, off and on, my primary doctor would tell me that my sodium level was low. Dr. Keith Roach, oregonlive, 4 Jan. 2023 There are, of course, more familiar names that sometimes arise from the oracular mists of the Swedish Academy, particularly over the past few decades, when, though tainted by scandal, the Nobel Committee became, off and on, more, uh, hip—both Bob Dylan and Kazuo Ishiguro come to mind. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, 9 Oct. 2022 Gary Hill was eager for his new apartment key after living in a shelter off and on since the pandemic hit. Dallas News, 8 Sep. 2022 Lynskey has done the other side of the tragedy-comedy mask before, most notably off and on for the entire run of Two and a Half Men. Vulture, 15 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'off and on.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1535, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of off and on was in 1535

Dictionary Entries Near off and on

Cite this Entry

“Off and on.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 May. 2023.

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