[awf, of]
so as to be no longer supported or attached: This button is about to come off.
so as to be no longer covering or enclosing: to take a hat off; to take the wrapping off.
away from a place: to run off; to look off toward the west.
away from a path, course, etc.; aside: This road branches off to Grove City.
so as to be away or on one's way: to start off early; to cast off.
away from what is considered normal, regular, standard, or the like: to go off on a tangent.
from a charge or price: He took 10 percent off for all cash purchases.
at a distance in space or future time: to back off a few feet; Summer is only a week off.
out of operation or effective existence: Turn the lights off.
into operation or action: The alarm goes off at noon.
so as to interrupt continuity or cause discontinuance: Negotiations have been broken off.
in absence from work, service, a job, etc.: two days off at Christmas.
completely; utterly: to kill off all the inhabitants.
with prompt or ready performance: to dash a letter off.
to fulfillment, or into execution or effect: The contest came off on the appointed day.
into nonexistence or nothingness: My headache passed off soon.
so as to be delineated, divided, or apportioned: Mark it off into equal parts.
away from a state of consciousness: I must have dozed off.
Nautical. away from the land, a ship, the wind, etc.
so as no longer to be supported by, attached to, on, resting on, or unified with: Take your feet off the table! break a piece of bread off the loaf.
deviating from: off balance; off course.
below or less than the usual or expected level or standard: 20 percent off the marked price; I was off my golf game.
away, disengaged, or resting from: to be off duty on Tuesdays.
Informal. refraining or abstaining from; denying oneself the pleasure, company, practice, etc., of: He's off gambling.
away from; apart or distant from: a village off the main road.
leading into or away from: an alley off 12th Street.
not fixed on or directed toward, as the gaze, eyes, etc.: Their eyes weren't off the king for a moment.
Informal. from (a specified source): I bought it off a street vendor.
from or of, indicating material or component parts: to lunch off cheese and fruit.
from or by such means or use of: living off an inheritance; living off his parents.
Nautical. at some distance to seaward of: off Cape Hatteras.
in error; wrong: You are off on that point.
slightly abnormal or not quite sane: He is a little off, but he's really harmless.
not up to standard; not so good or satisfactory as usual; inferior or subnormal: a good play full of off moments.
no longer in effect, in operation, or in process: The agreement is off.
stopped from flowing, as by the closing of a valve: The electricity is off.
in a specified state, circumstance, etc.: to be badly off for money.
(of time) free from work or duty; nonworking: a pastime for one's off hours.
not working at one's usual occupation: We're off Wednesdays during the summer.
of less than the ordinary activity, liveliness, or lively interest; slack: an off season in the tourist trade.
unlikely; remote; doubtful: on the off chance that we'd find her at home.
more distant; farther: the off side of a wall.
(of a vehicle, single animal, or pair of animals hitched side by side) of, being, or pertaining to the right as seen from the rider's or driver's viewpoint (opposed to near ): the off horse; the off side.
starting on one's way; leaving: I'm off to Europe on Monday. They're off and running in the third race at Aqueduct.
lower in price or value; down: Stock prices were off this morning.
Nautical. noting one of two like things that is the farther from the shore; seaward: the off side of the ship.
Cricket. noting or pertaining to that side of the wicket or of the field opposite that on which the batsman stands.
the state or fact of being off.
Cricket. the off side.
verb (used without object)
to go off or away; leave (used imperatively): Off, and don't come back!
verb (used with object)
Slang. to kill; slay.
Verb phrases
get off on. get ( def 57 ).
get it off. get ( def 54 ).
off and on,
Also, on and off. with intervals between; intermittently: to work off and on.
Nautical. on alternate tacks.
off of, Informal. off: Take your feet off of the table!
off with,
take away; remove: Off with those muddy boots before you step into this kitchen!
cut off: Off with his head!

orig. stressed variant of of1

The phrasal preposition off of is old in English, going back to the 16th century. Although usage guides reject it as redundant, recommending off without of, the phrase is widespread in speech, including that of the educated: Let's watch as the presidential candidates come off of the rostrum and down into the audience. Off of is rare in edited writing except to give the flavor of speech. Unabridged


a suffixal use of the adverb off, forming nouns that denote competitions, especially between the finalists of earlier competitions or as a means of deciding a tie: cookoff; playoff; runoff.


offered. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To off
World English Dictionary
off (ɒf)
1.  used to indicate actions in which contact is absent or rendered absent, as between an object and a surface: to lift a cup off the table
2.  used to indicate the removal of something that is or has been appended to or in association with something else: to take the tax off potatoes
3.  out of alignment with: we are off course
4.  situated near to or leading away from: just off the High Street
5.  not inclined towards: I'm off work; I've gone off you
6.  (particle) so as to be deactivated or disengaged: turn off the radio
7.  (particle)
 a.  so as to get rid of: sleep off a hangover
 b.  so as to be removed from, esp as a reduction: he took ten per cent off
8.  spent away from work or other duties: take the afternoon off
9.  a.  on a trip, journey, or race: I saw her off at the station
 b.  (particle) so as to be completely absent, used up, or exhausted: this stuff kills off all vermin
10.  out from the shore or land: the ship stood off
11.  a.  out of contact; at a distance: the ship was 10 miles off
 b.  out of the present location: the girl ran off
12.  away in the future: August is less than a week off
13.  (particle) so as to be no longer taking place: the match has been rained off
14.  (particle) removed from contact with something, as clothing from the body: the girl took all her clothes off
15.  offstage: noises off
16.  commerce (used with a preceding number) indicating the number of items required or produced: please supply 100 off
17.  off and on, on and off occasionally; intermittently: he comes here off and on
18.  (interjection) off with a command, often peremptory, or an exhortation to remove or cut off (something specified): off with his head; off with that coat, my dear
19.  not on; no longer operative: the off position on the dial
20.  (postpositive) not or no longer taking place; cancelled or postponed: the meeting is off
21.  in a specified condition regarding money, provisions, etc: well off; how are you off for bread?
22.  unsatisfactory or disappointing: his performance was rather off; an off year for good tennis
23.  (postpositive) in a condition as specified: I'd be better off without this job
24.  (postpositive) no longer on the menu; not being served at the moment: sorry, love, haddock is off
25.  (postpositive) (of food or drink) having gone bad, sour, etc: this milk is off
26.  cricket
 a.  Compare leg the part of the field on that side of the pitch to which the batsman presents his bat when taking strike: thus for a right-hander, off is on the right-hand side
 b.  (in combination) a fielding position in this part of the field: mid-off
 c.  (as modifier): the off stump
27.  (tr) to kill (someone)
usage  In standard English, off is not followed by of: he stepped off (not off of) the platform

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

by c.1200 as an emphatic form of O.E. of (see of), employed in the adverbial use of that word. The prepositional meaning "away from" and the adj. sense of "farther" were not firmly fixed in this variant until 17c., but once they were they left the original of with the transf.
and weakened senses of the word. Meaning "not working" is from 1861; verb sense of "to kill" first attested 1930. Off the cuff (1938) is from the notion of speaking from notes written in haste on one's shirt cuffs. Off the rack (adj.) is from 1963; off the record is from 1933; off the wall "crazy" is 1968, probably from the notion of a lunatic "bouncing off the walls" or else in ref. to carom shots in squash, handball, etc.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
  1. office

  2. officer

  3. official

The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


In addition to the idioms beginning with off, also see back off; bad off; beat off; beat the pants off; beg off; be off; better off; bite off more than one can chew; bite someone's head off; blast off; blow off; blow off steam; blow the lid off; bore to death (the pants off); branch off; break off; bring off; browned off; brush off; bug off; bump off; burn off; buy off; buzz off; call off; cap it all (off); carry off; cart off; cast off; change off; charge off; check off; cheesed off; chip off the old block; choke off; clear out (off); come off; come off it; cool down (off); cool off; count off; cry off; cut off; cut off one's nose; dash off; day off; die off; doze off; drop off; dust off; ease off; easy as pie (rolling off a log); fall away (off); fat of the land, live off the; fight off; fire off; first off; fish or cut bait (shit or get off); fly off the handle; fob off; fuck off; get off; get off on; get off one's tail; get off the dime; get off the ground; give off; give the shirt off one's back; go off; go off the deep end; goof off; hands off; hats off to; haul off; have it (off); head off; high off the hog; hit it off; hold off; hot off the press; jerk off; jumping-off place; keep off; kick off; kill off; kiss off; knock it off; knock off; knock someone's block off; knock the socks off; laugh off; lay off; lead off; leave off; let off; level off; lift off; like a chicken with its head cut off; like water off a duck's back; load off one's mind; log in (off); make off; mouth off; nod off; no skin off one's nose; on (off) camera; on (off) duty; on the (off) chance; pack off; pair off; palm off; pants off; pass off; pay off; peel off; pick off; piss off; play off; polish off; pull off; push off; put off; put someone off; quick off the mark; rake off; rattle off; right away (off); rip off; round off; rub off; run away (off); run off; run off at the mouth; run off with; rush off one's feet; seal off; see someone off; sell off; send off; set off; shake off; shoot off one's mouth; show off; shrug off; sign off; slack off; slip out (off); sound off; spin off; split one's sides (laugh one's head off); sponge on (off); square off; squeeze off; stand off; stave off; stop off; straight off; swear off; switch on (off); tail off; take off; take off after; take the edge off; take up where one left off; talk someone's arm off; taper off; tear off; tee off; tell off; tell someone where to get off; throw off; trade off; wipe off the map. Also see under on.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
If you're one of the unlucky ones, the ground starts to shake, jolting your
  house off its foundation.
One day in the future, infection may be fought by simply switching bacterial
  invaders off.
The lumbering beasts coexisted with the first humans for tens of thousands of
  years and then died off.
To prevent powdery mildew, plant resistant varieties and routinely spray plants
  with jets of water to wash off fungus spores.
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