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also offhand, 1690s, "at once, straightway," from off (adv.) + hand (n.). Probably originally in reference to shooting without a rest or support. Hence, of speech or action, "unpremeditated" (1719). Related: Off-handed; off-handedly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Examples from the Web for off-hand
Historical Examples
  • In this off-hand manner of constituting a Parliament, we detect the mingled daring of the Puritan and the Soldier.

  • He tried to speak in an off-hand manner, as though it was a usual thing to do.

    Tales of Space and Time Herbert George Wells
  • Then he took her hand, in order to appear kind and to deal with the matter in an off-hand way.

    Geoffrey Hampstead Thomas Stinson Jarvis
  • As a general rule he spoke in the tone of command or in a blunt, off-hand manner.

    Grey Town Gerald Baldwin
  • “I should not like to say off-hand how much of that there was,” he pursued with amusing caution.

    Chance Joseph Conrad
  • This kind of off-hand behaviour, was not calculated to retain custom.

    Therese Raquin Emile Zola
  • The charge that the living conditions of Japanese are lower is a thing which cannot be determined by off-hand judgment.

  • "Oh, I don't know," he mumbled, trying to assume an off-hand air.

    Steve and the Steam Engine Sara Ware Bassett
  • Well, we must find her now anyhow; and you must marry her off-hand.

    Mary Marston George MacDonald
  • At last, that day I saw her at Stratleigh, we determined to settle it off-hand.'

    A Pair of Blue Eyes Thomas Hardy

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