offhand

adverb
off·​hand | \ ˈȯf-ˈhand How to pronounce offhand (audio) , -ˌhand \

Definition of offhand

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: without premeditation or preparation : extempore couldn't give the figures offhand

offhand

adjective

Definition of offhand (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : casual, informal a relaxed, offhand manner
2 : done or made offhand offhand excuses

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Examples of offhand in a Sentence

Adverb I couldn't give them the figures offhand. Do you happen to know, offhand, when he'll be back? Adjective It was just an offhand remark. She spoke in an offhand manner.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb His willingness to eat what the locals eat, not dismiss it offhand as weird or scary but to shine a light on it, opened a window for his viewers to the food of Thailand that will be felt for a long time. Anna Spoerre, OregonLive.com, "Portland police offering $20,000 for information about 2017 homicide," 12 June 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective On my very first visit to Alaska as a wide-eyed teenager, I was impressed by the offhand comment that people check in on each other during the winter. Alli Harvey, Anchorage Daily News, "Hello darkness, my old friend. I will play outside to survive you.," 21 Dec. 2019 Casual speech often includes offhand comments, partial observations, sarcasm, and false sentiments to either avoid argument or draw a subject out. K.n.c., The Economist, "Surveillance is a fact of life, so make privacy a human right," 13 Dec. 2019 This wasn’t an offhand remark or a wish tossed out for consideration. Scott Mcmurren, Anchorage Daily News, "Family, friends, airfare deals: Whether you stay in Alaska or travel for the holidays, there’s much to be thankful for," 30 Nov. 2019 Miriam Guler can trace her success on the Ridgewood girls volleyball team — at least in part — to an offhand comment early in her high school career. Gregg Voss, chicagotribune.com, "Senior captain Miriam Guler digs the opportunity to play for Ridgewood," 19 Sep. 2019 Maybe there’s a kernel of truth in some of this stuff, but how much is just an offhand comment being twisted and then blown out of proportion? Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, "The cover for Alexis Daria's You Had Me at Hola had us at, well, hola," 17 Oct. 2019 Trump, who often seems most comfortable on rally stages with deeply partisan crowds, has not excelled at projecting empathy, mixing what can sound like perfunctory expressions of grief with awkward offhand remarks. Jill Colvin, chicagotribune.com, "As Trump heads to sites of mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, his divisive words collide with his call for unity," 6 Aug. 2019 Trump, who often seems most comfortable on rally stages with deeply partisan crowds, has not excelled at projecting empathy, mixing what can sound like perfunctory expressions of grief with awkward offhand remarks. Jill Colvin, chicagotribune.com, "As Trump heads to sites of mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, his divisive words collide with his call for unity," 6 Aug. 2019 This sketch comedy series about life as a Latino millennial in the United States wraps up its season with a segment where an offhand comment Castro makes during an interview gets him in hot water. Los Angeles Times, "What’s on TV Tuesday, Aug. 20: ‘The Detour’ on TBS," 19 Aug. 2019

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

Adverb

1680, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

circa 1668, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for offhand

Time Traveler

The first known use of offhand was circa 1668

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Statistics for offhand

Cite this Entry

“Offhand.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/offhand. Accessed 18 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for offhand

offhand

adverb
How to pronounce offhand (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of offhand

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: without previous thought or preparation

offhand

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of offhand (Entry 2 of 2)

: done or made without previous thought or preparation
: casual or informal

offhand

adverb or adjective
off·​hand | \ ˈȯf-ˈhand How to pronounce offhand (audio) \

Kids Definition of offhand

: without previous thought or preparation I can't say offhand who came. He spoke in a very loud, offhand way …— Anna Sewell, Black Beauty

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More from Merriam-Webster on offhand

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for offhand

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with offhand

Spanish Central: Translation of offhand

Nglish: Translation of offhand for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of offhand for Arabic Speakers

Comments on offhand

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