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[awf-sahyd, of-] /ˈɔfˈsaɪd, ˈɒf-/
adjective, adverb
Sports. illegally beyond a prescribed line or area or in advance of the ball or puck at the beginning of or during play or a play:
The touchdown was nullified because the offensive left tackle was offside.
with or in doubtful propriety or taste; risqué:
an offside joke.
Origin of offside
1840-50; off + side1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for offside
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The offside flap had been torn off, so had both stirrup-irons, the stirrup leather remained.

    Forging the Blades Bertram Mitford
  • The back awaits it, coolly enough; knowing that Damer's forwards are offside.

    The Hill Horace Annesley Vachell
  • Lift the offside pack into position with its forward end even with the forward fork, lifting the pack well up to the forks.

    Packing and Portaging Dillon Wallace
  • It was an offside play, he declared, because it wasn't a king at all.

    At Good Old Siwash George Fitch
  • We should probably have scored more had not the forwards been 'offside' so often.

    A Patriotic Schoolgirl Angela Brazil
  • He pulled a rein, and brought the light of the offside lamp to bear on a milestone with a bill pasted upon it.

    The Adventures of Harry Revel Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
  • The biggest bugbear that the referee has to contend with is the penalty and offside restrictions.

    Association Football John Cameron
  • This “offside” rule gives much trouble to the young player, though why it should do so it is not easy to say.

  • Yet, as Mr. William Pickford has pointed out, a player could be offside with eleven opponents in front of him.

    Association Football John Cameron
British Dictionary definitions for offside


adjective, adverb
(sport) (in football, hockey, etc) in a position illegally ahead of the ball or puck when it is played, usually when within one's opponents' half or the attacking zone
(mainly Brit) the offside
  1. the side of a vehicle nearest the centre of the road (in Britain, the right side)
  2. (as modifier): the offside passenger door
Compare nearside
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for offside

also off-side, 1867, in various sporting senses, originally in English football; from off + side (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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