adverb or adjective
\ ˈȯf-ˈskrēn How to pronounce off-screen (audio) \
variants: or offscreen

Definition of off-screen

1 : out of sight of the motion picture or television viewer a shot fired off-screen Before long, Anthony introduces himself to the family pooch, who is whooshed away to an off-screen death.— Kris Turnquist
2 : in private life : when not appearing in a motion picture, on television, etc. Moyer's off-screen magnetism comes from a down-to-earth friendliness.— Kate Hahn Pfeiffer, 34, remains a mystery woman offscreen.— Michael A. Lipton

Examples of off-screen in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web As the question made its way to John Harbaugh late Sunday afternoon, the Ravens coach looked offscreen. Jonas Shaffer,, "Ravens’ blowout win over Jaguars shows power they can wield — and how much is still out of their control," 20 Dec. 2020 This startlingly original new series, airing Friday nights on HBO, has no stars or any kind of traditional story, and its main character, John Wilson, who co-writes, directs and narrates, stays offscreen. Jason Zinoman, New York Times, "The Best Half-Hour of Comedy in 2020 Is About … Scaffolding?," 2 Nov. 2020 The ABC News experts will work offscreen to brief network correspondents and anchors on the issue. David Bauder,, "Networks line up election law experts for vote coverage," 1 Nov. 2020 The ABC News experts will work offscreen to brief network correspondents and anchors on the issue. David Bauder, Star Tribune, "Networks line up election law experts for vote coverage," 1 Nov. 2020 The Barefoot Contessa, Show Boat, Mogambo, The Sun Also Rises, and Night of the Iguana are some of her biggest hits, but her life offscreen was as cinematic, with an X rating. Brian T. Allen, National Review, "Ava Gardner, Unapologetic Sexpot, Still Bewitches," 24 Oct. 2020 The thanks from best actress winner, the 11-year-old Helena Zengel, star of System Crasher, could barely be heard over the joyous screams of her mother, standing just offscreen in what looked to be the family kitchen. Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter, "'System Crasher' Wins Big in Lockdown Version of German Film Awards," 24 Apr. 2020 This thought-provoking drama is long but well-paced, full of incident but at the same time intimate — though shocking violence occurs just offscreen. Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter, "'A Sun' ('Yang Guang Pu Zhao'): Film Review | Tokyo 2019," 8 Nov. 2019 For production, three or four Jinxes were built, each of which had a different function, controlled offscreen via remote control - move forward and backward, raise arms, expand and light up. Matt Wake |,, "Secrets of the ’80s ‘SpaceCamp’ movie, revealed," 3 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'off-screen.' 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-screen

1916, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about off-screen

Time Traveler for off-screen

Time Traveler

The first known use of off-screen was in 1916

See more words from the same year

Statistics for off-screen

Last Updated

8 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Off-screen.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Comments on off-screen

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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