throw off


Definition of throw off 

transitive verb

1a : to free oneself from : get rid of threw off his inhibitions

b : to cast off often in a hurried or vigorous manner : abandon threw off all restraint

c : distract, divert dogs thrown off by a false scent

2 : emit, give off stacks throwing off plumes of smoke

3 : to produce in an offhand manner : execute with speed or facility some little … tune that the composer had thrown off— James Hilton

4a : to cause to depart from an expected or desired course mistakes threw his calculations off a bit

b : to cause to make a mistake : mislead

5 : earn, generate an investment that throws off a sizable income

intransitive verb

1 : to begin hunting

2 : to make derogatory comments

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Examples of throw off in a Sentence

the sudden noise just threw me off completely, and I missed my shot

Recent Examples on the Web

The motorcycle left the roadway and crashed onto the front yard of a house in the 100 block of Oaklawn Ridge and the two where were thrown off. Littice Bacon-blood,, "St. Charles Parish president in ICU after motorcycle crash," 5 Apr. 2018 And then there’s cooling; all that energy use throws off a lot of heat. David Meyer, Fortune, "Mining a Bitcoin Costs About as Much as Buying One These Days," 16 Mar. 2018 In 1990, as the Soviet Union disintegrated, Mongolia threw off its one-party state and became a democracy. Simon Denyer, Washington Post, "Mongolia’s nomadic way of life threatened by climate change, neglect, modernity," 8 July 2018 Even a small percentage shift in contamination levels could, and did, throw off the entire system of recycling. Megan Janetsky, azcentral, "Some of your recyclables may be going to landfills," 4 July 2018 The good deed, however, throws off history: the woman goes on to mount a pacificist movement, keeping the U.S. out of World War II. Kyle Swenson,, "Harlan Ellison, science fiction master, dies at age 84," 29 June 2018 Indeed, the American Heart Association says that obesity raises your risk for heart disease and stroke, partly by increasing your blood pressure, throwing off your cholesterol levels, and increasing the risk for type 2 diabetes. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "The Science on Weight and Health," 26 June 2018 Wifi networks, smart traffic lights, security cameras, cell phones, Ubers, and yeah, electric scooters throw off truckloads of data about American cities. Alex Davies, WIRED, "Cities Are Watching You—Urban Sciences Graduates Watch Back," 25 June 2018 Inside Pitch Masahiro Tanaka, on the disabled list since June 9 with strains of both hamstrings, threw off flat ground today and will accompany the team on its road trip to Tampa and Philadelphia. Wallace Matthews, New York Times, "Yankees Sweep the Mariners With a Pair of Homers and a Couple of Breaks," 21 June 2018

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

1604, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

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Statistics for throw off

Last Updated

10 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for throw off

The first known use of throw off was in 1604

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Comments on throw off

What made you want to look up throw off? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to express warning or disapproval

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