off-the-rec·​ord ˈȯf-ṯẖə-ˈre-kərd How to pronounce off-the-record (audio)
: given or made in confidence and not for publication
off-the-record comments

Examples of off-the-record in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The waves of worry emanating from the industry—through columns by insiders, off-the-record hand-wringing by executives, and the like—only sometimes acknowledged that 2024 was going to be an awkward bridge year for films. David Sims, The Atlantic, 25 June 2024 Our conversations are studded with long, off-the-record interjections. Seyward Darby, Longreads, 12 June 2024 During an off-the-record period of an evidence suppression hearing in which the defense was to argue the defendant did not voluntarily waive his right not to participate in a custodial interview, Brewer attempted to get the judge’s attention. Emerson Clarridge, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 30 May 2024 In her off-the-record remarks that day, the vice president made a passing reference to the 34 individuals who once lived on the property against their will. Robert Draper, New York Times, 12 Apr. 2024 Speculation has swirled around the site of a Hashed al-Shaabi militia facility after a senior administration official mentioned it during an off-the-record briefing. Rich Lowry, National Review, 4 Feb. 2024 Email address: At the resort, Thomas gave a speech at an off-the-record conservative conference. Justin Elliott, ProPublica, 18 Dec. 2023 At the resort, Thomas gave a speech at an off-the-record conservative conference. Justin Elliott, Fortune, 18 Dec. 2023 The documents, or portions of them, were also shared with several reporters on an off-the-record basis. Tracy Wang, Rolling Stone, 28 Oct. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'off-the-record.' 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

1920, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of off-the-record was in 1920

Dictionary Entries Near off-the-record

Cite this Entry

“Off-the-record.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


: given or made privately and not meant for publication
off-the-record comments

More from Merriam-Webster on off-the-record

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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