offset

1 of 2

verb

off·​set ˈȯf-ˌset How to pronounce offset (audio)
 transitive senses are also  ȯf-ˈset
offset; offsetting; offsets

transitive verb

1
a
: to place over against something : balance
credits offset debits
b
: to serve as a counterbalance for : compensate
his speed offset his opponent's greater weight
2
: to form an offset in
offset a wall

intransitive verb

: to become marked by offset

offset

2 of 2

noun

off·​set ˈȯf-ˌset How to pronounce offset (audio)
1
: 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
2
a(1)
: a short prostrate (see prostrate entry 1 sense 3) lateral shoot arising from the base of a plant
(2)
: a small bulb arising from the base of another bulb
b
: a lateral or collateral (see collateral entry 2 sense 2) branch (as of a family or race) : offshoot
c
: a spur (see spur entry 1 sense 4a) from a range of hills
3
a
: 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
b
: unintentional transfer of ink (as from a freshly printed sheet)
4
b
: a horizontal ledge on the face of a wall formed by a diminution of its thickness above
c
: an abrupt change in the dimension or profile of an object (such as a bowl) or the part set off by such change
5
: something that sets off to advantage or embellishes something else : foil
The clown was a humorous offset in the play.
6
: an abrupt bend in an object (such as a pipe or a rod) by which one part is turned aside out of line
7
a
: cessation
rapid regular beating of the heart … characterized by sudden onset and sudden offsetH. J. Stewart
b
archaic : outset, start
offset adjective or adverb

Examples of offset in a Sentence

Verb Gains in one area offset losses in another. The limited storage space in the house is offset by the large garage. Noun a better performance this time will be an offset to last year's dismal showing symptoms that were striking for their abrupt onset and their equally abrupt offset
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Targeting the rich If Congress decides that some or all the cost of renewed a tax cut needs to be offset, which party has the majority and whether the White House is occupied by Trump or Biden will have an enormous impact. David Lauter, Los Angeles Times, 6 Apr. 2024 Some Republicans have rebuffed Biden’s promise to pay the entire bridge cost with federal dollars, demanding that any funding be fully offset with spending cuts. Nik Popli, TIME, 5 Apr. 2024 Declining forest loss in Brazil and Colombia was largely offset by greater losses elsewhere, Global Forest Watch director Mikaela Weisse told a press briefing. Fox News, 4 Apr. 2024 The loss of Mayman’s jetpack is offset by the tantalizing prospect of a flying motorcycle. J. George Gorant, Robb Report, 4 Apr. 2024 Elements with lines or elements oriented up or down can guide the viewer’s eye through the image, and elements can pull focus to or offset the subject. Douglas Goodwin, The Conversation, 1 Apr. 2024 That'd be offset by a growing number of state and federal rebates and tax credits that encourage decarbonization. Matt Simon, WIRED, 29 Mar. 2024 For example, the first step that individuals and corporations can take to contribute to sustainability is to measure their carbon footprint and offset it. Expert Panel®, Forbes, 29 Mar. 2024 Of course, OpenAI and its Big Tech rivals have the deep pockets to fund their ambitions and can offset their money-losing AI products by bundling them with their non-AI products that make money. Verne Kopytoff, Fortune, 26 Mar. 2024
Noun
Preparing for all outcomes is essential; therefore, carbon offsets are significant. Simi Thambi​, Forbes, 30 Mar. 2024 Corsair is also the developer and issuer of the world's leading plastic waste offset program, the CSR Plastic Credit. Kansas City Star, 27 Mar. 2024 Measuring emissions by intensity means a company can technically increase its fossil fuel output and overall emissions while using offsets or adding renewable energy or biofuels to its product mix. Reuters, CNN, 14 Mar. 2024 Saari said the pitch – the steep part of the hill – on the second run was challenging Tuesday due to the big offsets between turns. Jace Frederick, Twin Cities, 14 Feb. 2024 Claudia Herbert, a PhD candidate at UC Berkeley and a specialist on the crossover between blockchain and carbon offsetting, cites the issue of offsets of HFC-23. Andrew Kersley, WIRED, 19 Mar. 2024 Youngkin, who withdrew the state from RGGI last year, calls that money a $500 million tax on consumers, arguing that power generators pass on the cost of carbon offsets. Gregory S. Schneider, Washington Post, 14 Mar. 2024 The White House issued a veto threat against Johnson's $17.6 billion Israel aid bill despite its lack of spending offsets. Elizabeth Elkind, Fox News, 7 Feb. 2024 That involves a four-step method: measuring what matters most, optimizing those metrics, deploying A.I. to accelerate retrofits, and using offsets and financing to make retrofits more attractive to operators. Nick Rockel, Fortune, 18 Jan. 2024

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

Verb

1673, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Noun

circa 1555, in the meaning defined at sense 7b

Time Traveler
The first known use of offset was circa 1555

Dictionary Entries Near offset

Cite this Entry

“Offset.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/offset. Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

offset

1 of 2 noun
off·​set ˈȯf-ˌset How to pronounce offset (audio)
1
: a short shoot arising from the base of a plant and growing flat on the ground
2
: something that serves to make up for something else

offset

2 of 2 verb
off·​set ˈȯf-ˌset How to pronounce offset (audio)
 also  ȯf-ˈset
offset; offsetting
: to make up for
gains in one state offset losses in another

Legal Definition

offset

1 of 2 noun
off·​set ˈȯf-ˌset How to pronounce offset (audio)
: 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

offset

2 of 2 transitive verb
off·​set ˌȯf-ˈset How to pronounce offset (audio)
: to balance, reduce, or calculate by reference to another amount
offset the debt against a credit

More from Merriam-Webster on offset

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