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offset

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noun off·set \ˈȯf-ˌset\
Updated on: 26 Jul 2017

Definition of offset

  1. 1a archaic :  outset, startb :  cessation rapid regular beating of the heart … characterized by sudden onset and sudden offset — H. J. Stewart

  2. 2a (1) :  a short prostrate (see 1prostrate 3) lateral shoot arising from the base of a plant (2) :  a small bulb arising from the base of another bulbb :  a lateral or collateral (see 1collateral 2) branch (as of a family or race) :  offshootc :  a spur (see 1spur 4a) from a range of hills

  3. 3a :  a horizontal ledge on the face of a wall formed by a diminution of its thickness aboveb :  displacementc :  an abrupt change in the dimension or profile of an object (such as a bowl) or the part set off by such change

  4. 4 :  something that sets off to advantage or embellishes something else :  foil The clown was a humorous offset in the play.

  5. 5 :  an abrupt bend in an object (such as a pipe or a rod) by which one part is turned aside out of line

  6. 6 :  something that serves to counterbalance or to compensate for something else demands conspicuous offsets to the enemy's successes; especially :  either of two balancing ledger items

  7. 7a :  unintentional transfer of ink (as from a freshly printed sheet)b :  a printing process in which an inked impression from a plate is first made on a rubber-blanketed cylinder and then transferred to the paper being printed

offset

adjective or adverb

Examples of offset in a Sentence

  1. a better performance this time will be an offset to last year's dismal showing

  2. symptoms that were striking for their abrupt onset and their equally abrupt offset

Recent Examples of offset from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'offset.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of offset

circa 1555

Other Architecture Terms


2

offset

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verb off·set \ˈȯf-ˌset, vt senses are also ȯf-ˈset\

Definition of offset

offset

;

offsetting

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1a :  to place over against something :  balance credits offset debitsb :  to serve as a counterbalance for :  compensate his speed offset his opponent's greater weight

  3. 2 :  to form an offset in offset a wall

  4. intransitive verb
  5. :  to become marked by offset

Examples of offset in a Sentence

  1. Gains in one area offset losses in another.

  2. The limited storage space in the house is offset by the large garage.

Recent Examples of offset from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'offset.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of offset

1673


Financial Definition of OFFSET

offset

What It Is

An offset is a transaction that cancels out the effects of another transaction.

How It Works

Offsetting transactions are common in options and futures markets. For example, let's say John Doe sells an option to buy 100 shares of Company XYZ with a strike price of $20 per share. The option expires in one year. Because John is locked into the contract, he cannot just ignore it. So, he enters into an offsetting transaction by buying an identical opposite transaction (buying an option to sell 100 shares of Company XYZ with a strike price of $20 that expires in one year). This offsets the risk he bears with the first option.

Why It Matters

Offsetting transactions are risk-management tools, and investors and companies use them when they cannot simply cancel the original transaction. In the derivatives markets, this happens when investors cannot accept a delivery of thousands of pounds of coffee from a futures contract, for example.


OFFSET Defined for English Language Learners

offset

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verb

Definition of offset for English Language Learners

  • : to cancel or reduce the effect of (something) : to create an equal balance between two things


OFFSET Defined for Kids

offset

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verb off·set \ˈȯf-ˌset\

Definition of offset for Students

offset

;

offsetting

  1. :  to make up for Gains in one state offset losses in another.


Law Dictionary

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offset

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noun off·set \ˈȯf-ˌset\

Legal Definition of offset

  1. :  a claim or amount that reduces or balances another claim or amount :  set-off the creditor's own debt was an offset; also :  the reduction or balance achieved by such a claim


2

offset

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transitive verb off·set \ˌȯf-ˈset\

Legal Definition of offset

  1. :  to balance, reduce, or calculate by reference to another amount offset the debt against a credit



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