1 of 2


off·​hand ˈȯf-ˈhand How to pronounce offhand (audio)
: without premeditation or preparation : extempore
couldn't give the figures offhand


2 of 2


: casual, informal
a relaxed, offhand manner
: 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
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
However shooting a crossbow offhand can be challenging. Alex Robinson, Outdoor Life, 21 June 2023 The offhand remark—undeniably true at its core—rapidly became a popular meme still invoked a year later in the war. Sébastien Roblin, Popular Mechanics, 1 June 2023 This is a space of casual violence, offhand bigotry, sophomoric humor. Niela Orr, New York Times, 6 July 2023 Her offhand mention of their marital infidelities — William’s being more involved than hers — is an eye-opener. Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times, 28 June 2023 The president had supported such rules during his service in the Senate and voiced an open-mindedness to the idea in an offhand remark to reporters during a bike ride in Rehoboth, Del., earlier in the month. Tony Romm, Marianna Sotomayor, Leigh Ann Caldwell, Tyler Pager, Jeff Stein, Rachel Siegel, The Washington Post, Anchorage Daily News, 4 June 2023 Some characters startled with offhand richness; others felt like caricature. Phillip MacIak, The New Republic, 30 June 2023 Ultimately, Benedict’s legacy was his stunning resignation, in a seemingly offhand remark made while speaking Latin at a regular meeting with cardinals. Elisabetta Povoledo, New York Times, 31 Dec. 2022 Her dancing, loose and effortless in her videos but the product of an entire childhood spent training, matched with a kind of offhand hotness that doesn’t take itself too seriously—reminiscent of her fellow Louisianan Britney Spears—has garnered Rae more than 100 million social followers. Jen Wang, Vogue, 17 May 2021 See More

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


1680, in the meaning defined above


circa 1668, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of offhand was circa 1668

Dictionary Entries Near offhand

Cite this Entry

“Offhand.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


adverb or adjective
: without previous thought or preparation
can't say offhand how many there are

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