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



Definition of offhand (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Mara, Lisa and Astrid say bizarre and unsettling things, their cruelty and spite sometimes offhand, sometimes calculated. Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter, 14 Apr. 2022 The Trolley Problem entails having to make difficult choices, contextually herein in the nature of driving decisions, and is often offhand dismissed by some as a misleading folly in the self-driving realm. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 1 Nov. 2021 Totally offhand, but Jacob Latimore is 24, Corey Hawkins is 32 and Shameik Moore is 25. Scott Mendelson, Forbes, 24 Feb. 2021 Thomas didn’t know offhand but circled back to him with the answer: Six. Amie Just | Staff Writer,, 25 Dec. 2020 Many hunters used to regularly shoot offhand, including the great Jack O’Connor. Tyler Freel, Outdoor Life, 6 Nov. 2020 These folks often contend that more traditional skills like shooting offhand or hitting running game are being forgotten. Tyler Freel, Outdoor Life, 6 Nov. 2020 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,, 12 June 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective An offhand, pro-development comment from Democratic candidate Mary Peltola prompted a quick social media backlash, and a subsequent clarification. Nathaniel Herz, Anchorage Daily News, 30 May 2022 Keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities to collect, craft and retell stories in formal presentations and offhand interactions alike. Jodie Cook, Forbes, 16 May 2022 And everywhere, the impact of social media — including the knowledge that an offhand remark could be recorded, broadcast and endure online indefinitely — is felt. Washington Post, 11 Apr. 2022 Now, years later, Dumbledore's sexuality is finally being acknowledged outside of Rowling's Twitter account or the occasional offhand comment. Devan Coggan,, 16 Apr. 2022 The President's offhand remark is unlikely to soothe Democratic fears of a possible Republican rout in November's midterm elections. Stephen Collinson, CNN, 9 Mar. 2022 The seemingly offhand comment drew criticism on social media, with some faulting the New Zealand filmmaker for appearing to insult the Williams sisters' tennis prowess. NBC News, 14 Mar. 2022 Unsurprisingly, Campion faced intense online backlash due to her dismissive and patronizing offhand commentary, made seemingly out of the blue and completely necessarily while accepting her honor. Rivea Ruff, Essence, 14 Mar. 2022 An offhand query or observation can drive a substantially different set of experiences around these curations, but curation often happens in a silo. Adam Blue, Forbes, 3 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of offhand


1680, in the meaning defined above


circa 1668, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of offhand was circa 1668

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Cite this Entry

“Offhand.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for 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

More from Merriam-Webster on offhand

Nglish: Translation of offhand for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of offhand for Arabic Speakers


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