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 Thomas didn’t know offhand but circled back to him with the answer: Six. Amie Just | Staff Writer, NOLA.com, "Alvin Kamara goes ballistic on Christmas and Saints clinch NFC South (again); here's how," 25 Dec. 2020 Many hunters used to regularly shoot offhand, including the great Jack O’Connor. Tyler Freel, Outdoor Life, "Let’s Get Real About Offhand Shooting and Old-School Rifle Marksmanship," 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, "Let’s Get Real About Offhand Shooting and Old-School Rifle Marksmanship," 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, OregonLive.com, "Portland police offering $20,000 for information about 2017 homicide," 12 June 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Officials said the offhand remark, which came in response to a question on acquisition reform, was just a bit of self-deprecating jocularity about the myriad of challenges in leading the Pentagon. Jamie Mcintyre, Washington Examiner, "The case for — and against — Lloyd Austin," 19 Jan. 2021 The offhand announcement didn’t include any specifics. Scott D. Pierce, The Salt Lake Tribune, "‘The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City’ will return for a second season," 21 Jan. 2021 These offhand observations get muddled at times and don’t get the same attention that Ada’s personal development does. Amy Pedulla, BostonGlobe.com, "Gender fluidity upends a classic genre in Anna North’s ‘Outlawed’," 31 Dec. 2020 Steinour said the idea for the Huntington-TCF merger started with an offhand comment over the summer that turned into more serious talks in late October. Kavita Kumar, Star Tribune, "TCF, Minnesota's third-largest bank, will merge with Huntington and give up its name," 14 Dec. 2020 But the biggest draw is Dave Bautista, who summons just the right mixture of offhand skill and muted reluctance as a former military man who must fight his own demons while fighting for his life. Jason Bailey, New York Times, "Stream These 15 Titles Before They Leave Netflix in November," 11 Nov. 2020 Life-altering events are revealed in offhand comments or clause-long slips into the future tense. Alice Gregory, The New Yorker, "Shirley Hazzard and the Art of Outsized Intimacy," 9 Nov. 2020 If the assertion that the offhand position is unreliable offends you, ask anyone who has stood at the 200-yard line with a service rifle. Tyler Freel, Outdoor Life, "Let’s Get Real About Offhand Shooting and Old-School Rifle Marksmanship," 6 Nov. 2020 And Biden campaign spokeswoman Kate Bedingfield struggled to defend Biden's offhand comments on CNN Sunday. Naomi Lim, Washington Examiner, "'Unforced error': Biden campaign's message discipline is slipping," 12 Oct. 2020

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

Last Updated

6 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Offhand.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/offhand. Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for offhand

offhand

adverb

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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