\ ˈȯf How to pronounce off (audio) \

Definition of off

 (Entry 1 of 6)

1a(1) : from a place or position march off specifically : away from land ship stood off to sea
(2) : at a distance in space or time stood 10 paces off a long way off
b : from a course : aside turned off into a bypath specifically : away from the wind The ship eased off a point or two.
c : into an unconscious state dozed off
2a : so as to be separated from support rolled to the edge of the table and off or close contact blew the lid off the handle came off
b : so as to be divided surface marked off into squares
3a : to a state of discontinuance or suspension shut off an engine
b used as an intensifierdrink off a glassfinish it off
4 : in absence from or suspension of regular work or service take time off for lunch
5 : offstage The actor turns and goes off.

Definition of off (Entry 2 of 6)

1a used as a function word to indicate physical separation or distance from a position of rest, attachment, or uniontake it off the tablea path off the main walka shop just off the main street
b : to seaward of two miles off shore
2 : from the possession or charge of had his wallet stolen off him
3 used as a function word to indicate the object of an actionborrowed a dollar off himdined off oysters
4a used as a function word to indicate the suspension of an occupation or activityoff dutyoff liquor
b : below the usual standard or level of off his game

Definition of off (Entry 3 of 6)

1a : seaward
b : right
c : more removed or distant the off side of the building
2a : started on the way off on a spree
b : not taking place or staying in effect : canceled the deal was off
c : not operating
d : not placed so as to permit operation
3a : not corresponding to fact : incorrect off in his reckoning
c : not entirely sane : eccentric
d : remote, slight an off chance
4a : spent off duty reading on his off days
b : marked by a periodic decline in activity or business traveled in the off season for lower prices
b : inferior off grade of oil also : affected with putrefaction
c : down stocks were off
6 : circumstanced worse off


offed; offing; offs

Definition of off (Entry 4 of 6)

intransitive verb

: to go away : depart used chiefly as an imperativeOff, or I'll shoot!

Definition of off (Entry 5 of 6)

office; officer; official
\ ˌȯf\

Definition of -off (Entry 6 of 6)

: competition : contest bake-off

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Examples of off in a Sentence

Adverb She put on her jacket and off she went. The car turned off onto a side street. Preposition She is still living off her parents. The family lives off welfare. They live off the land. They make their living off tourism. Adjective The lever is in the off position. He is off playing golf. She is off on a trip. Verb The movie is about a gangster who gets power by offing his rivals. the hit man bragged that he'd offed at least three people in the last year alone
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Then cap the night off back in Midtown with seasonal craft cocktails at the wonderfully dark, moody, and very delicious Death and Taxes. Heather Platt, Los Angeles Magazine, "Reno: It’s Not Just The Place You Ignore While Skiing in Tahoe Anymore," 28 Aug. 2017 Even coming off the biggest win of his career—the Cincy title—, "2017 U.S. Open Men's Seed Reports," 26 Aug. 2017 Family and friends filled a hangar at the Illinois Army National Guard's Peoria aviation facility to send off 40 soldiers, including Specialist Dylan Ingersoll of Batavia, who are slated to spend the next several months in Afghanistan. Andy Kravetz, Aurora Beacon-News, "National Guard unit ready for stint in Afghanistan," 25 Aug. 2017 The combination of Tannehill not being all that great and replacement Jay Cutler being good enough means Miami has not fallen off much at the most important position. Greg Cote, miamiherald, "Dolphins’ Double-J offense will be enough to overcome shortcomings on D," 25 Aug. 2017 First off, Squidward is a total Krusty Krab traitor and Plankton actually looks like a villain. Stacey Grant, Seventeen, "This "SpongeBob SquarePants" Anime Opening Is Low-Key Nightmare Fuel," 24 Aug. 2017 Headaches are pretty awful at any time, but getting one in the A.M. is a sure-fire way to get your day off to crappy start. Korin Miller, SELF, "6 Causes of Morning Headaches," 24 Aug. 2017 A flight dispatcher’s job isn’t done when the plane takes off. Allison Hope, CNT, "This Person Is More in Control of Your Flight Than the Pilot," 24 Aug. 2017 If Elsevier cuts off access again, German researchers who want to read articles from Elsevier journals, among them Cell, The Lancet, and Physics Reports, will have to resort to measures such as interlibrary loans—or go to pirate sites like SciHub. Gretchen Vogel, Science | AAAS, "A bold open-access push in Germany could change the future of academic publishing," 23 Aug. 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Fry, however, committed the mortal sin of walking the lead-off man in the bottom of the 12th — Harold Castro, who went 2-for-4 with a solo home run and two walks. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers give sparse crowd thrills, win on John Hicks' grand slam in 12 innings," 15 Sep. 2019 The study of exoplanets has revealed that other solar systems can be quite different from our own, and interstellar interlopers can help reveal more about these far-off realms. Jay Bennett, Smithsonian, "Astronomers Spot a Comet That Likely Came From a Different Solar System," 12 Sep. 2019 One lane of traffic, however, is getting through by using the off-and-on ramp at the interchange. Kieran Nicholson, The Denver Post, "Severe storm brings flash flooding to south metro Denver, hail in the foothills, mudslide along I-70," 7 Sep. 2019 Russell said some drop-off spots are already stocked with relief supplies and he's fielded calls from other organizations and residents that want to help. Morgan Hines, USA TODAY, "Hurricane Dorian has wreaked havoc on the Bahamas. Here's how you can help:," 3 Sep. 2019 As of right now, there’s no planned cut-off time for shelter admission. Brooke Baitinger,, "As Dorian nears, Palm Beach County shelters have plenty of room," 2 Sep. 2019 Distant strobe lights constantly cut through the night, while daytime skies stream with the apocalyptic work of far-off explosions. Peter Opaskar, Ars Technica, "Apocalypse Now Final Cut," 31 Aug. 2019 Starhopper will never see space, but SpaceX CEO Elon Musk hopes its successor, called Starship, will eventually transport up to 100 people (and roughly 150 tons of cargo) to far-off destinations such as the Moon or Mars. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "SpaceX's Starhopper Successfully Completes Final Test Flight," 27 Aug. 2019 This time, Frozen’s Jelani Alladin will be the one singing of far-off places and hero’s welcomes as the new Hercules. Devan Coggan,, "Original Hercules voice actor Roger Bart talks going the distance, playing Hades on stage," 22 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb After offing one of the Toretto family’s loved ones and parachuting away from her airbase in The Fate of the Furious, Cipher will be back to again face off against Dom and company in Fast & Furious 9. Marcus Jones,, "Charlize Theron ditches the dreads for Cipher's return in Fast & Furious 9," 2 Sep. 2019 Can someone go from on the team to off the team in five practices and two games? Scott Patsko,, "What we know about the Browns offensive line entering the third preseason game," 23 Aug. 2019 The more realistic version of a backup quarterback checks these boxes: Prepare and mentor the starter -- Stanton checks that off -- and sit in the cockpit for a couple of games if needed and fly the plane. Dan Labbe,, "Can Drew Stanton win games for the Browns? Cleveland Browns 19 questions," 5 July 2019 After a short foot chase, officers contained the suspect in the 1900 block of Seneca Drive, a business area off Highway 13. Nick Ferraro, Twin Cities, "Domestic assault suspect fatally shot during Eagan standoff with police," 3 July 2019 These are messages society subscribes to off the big screen and in real life. Jeneé Osterheldt,, "‘Toy Story 4’ and the forever journey of growing-up," 24 June 2019 Tip: Find a breezy spot between Ma’alaea and Lahaina off Highway 30 to see the whales playing. National Geographic, "10 unforgettable animal-watching adventures," 21 June 2019 Now, this isn’t the first time that a series has offed its primary protagonist. Gabe Bergado, Teen Vogue, ""The Magicians" Finale Just Pulled Off Its Most Heart-wrenching Risk Yet," 18 Apr. 2019 The two actors had a tryst offscreen yet never on, though the characters’ passion for one another was palpable even in old age during The Force Awakens — before Han was offed by his kid Kylo Ren. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "We've got a good feeling about this: It's time for 'Star Wars' to have a sex scene," 30 May 2018

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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1666, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1717, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for off

Adverb, Preposition, Adjective, and Verb

Middle English of, from Old English — more at of

Noun combining form


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Time Traveler for off

Time Traveler

The first known use of off was before the 12th century

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Statistics for off

Cite this Entry

“Off.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 21 November 2019.

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More Definitions for off


How to pronounce -off (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of off

 (Entry 1 of 4)

: away from a place
: away from a main road, path, etc.
: at a distance in time or space

English Language Learners Definition of off (Entry 2 of 4)

used to indicate separation, distance, or removal from someone or something
: on money, food, energy, etc., supplied by (someone or something)
used to indicate something that someone is no longer doing or using

English Language Learners Definition of off (Entry 3 of 4)

: not attached to or covering something : not on
: not operating, functioning, or flowing
: in a position that stops the flow of electricity, water, etc.



English Language Learners Definition of off (Entry 4 of 4)

US slang : to kill or murder (someone)


\ ˈȯf How to pronounce off (audio) \

Kids Definition of off

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 : from a place or position He got angry and marched off.
2 : from a course : aside The driver turned off onto a side street.
3 : so as not to be supported, covering or enclosing, or attached I jumped off. The lid blew off. The handle fell off.
4 : so as to be discontinued or finished Turn the radio off. The couple paid off their debts.
5 : away from work I took the day off.

Kids Definition of off (Entry 2 of 4)

1 : away from the surface or top of Take those books off the table.
2 : at the expense of I lived off my parents.
3 : released or freed from The officer was off duty.
4 : below the usual level of We can save a dollar off the price.
5 : away from The hotel is just off the highway.

Kids Definition of off (Entry 3 of 4)

1 : not operating or flowing The radio is off. The electricity is off.
2 : not attached to or covering The lid is off.
3 : started on the way They're off on a trip.
4 : not taking place The game is off.
5 : not correct : wrong Your guess is way off.
6 : not as good as usual He's having an off day.
7 : provided for His family is well off.
8 : small in degree : slight There's an off chance I'll win.
9 : away from home or work He's off fishing.

Kids Definition of off.


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More from Merriam-Webster on off

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for off

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with off

Spanish Central: Translation of off

Nglish: Translation of off for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of off for Arabic Speakers

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strength of mind

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