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2017 Word of the Year

offhand

[awf-hand, of-] /ˈɔfˈhænd, ˈɒf-/
adverb
1.
cavalierly, curtly, or brusquely:
to reply offhand.
2.
without previous thought or preparation; extempore:
to decide offhand to take a trip.
adjective
3.
informal, casual, curt, or brusque:
an offhand manner.
4.
Also, offhanded. done or made offhand.
5.
Glassmaking. working manually and without the use of molds:
offhand blowing.
Origin of offhand
1685-1695
First recorded in 1685-95; off + hand
Related forms
offhandedly, adverb
offhandedness, noun
Synonyms
1. short, shortly, abruptly. 3, 4. impromptu, extempore.
Antonyms
4. considered.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for offhandedly
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "I have little to add to Dr. Cumberly's account," answered Exel, offhandedly.

    The Yellow Claw Sax Rohmer
  • "Oh, he's the musical director at Weston High," answered Jerry offhandedly.

    Marjorie Dean Pauline Lester
  • "I should not imagine that she is your sort, anyway," he said offhandedly.

    A Bachelor Husband Ruby M. Ayres
  • "Just remaking life a little for her," replied the other offhandedly.

    Wanted: A Husband Samuel Hopkins Adams
  • It was interesting and offhandedly jolly and just the right sort.

    The Prairie Wife Arthur Stringer
  • “Oh yes, considering I was there the best part of a year,” he replied, offhandedly.

    A Veldt Official Bertram Mitford
  • "Hard to see those threads with all the tubes blocking that plug," he said offhandedly.

    Hanging by a Thread Gordon Randall Garrett
  • (She pats him offhandedly with velvet paws) Are you coming into the musicroom to see our new pianola?

    Ulysses James Joyce
  • "Oh, for whatever honor it is that our beloved Goddess has in mind for you," the High Priestess said offhandedly.

    Pagan Passions Gordon Randall Garrett
British Dictionary definitions for offhandedly

offhand

/ˌɒfˈhænd/
adjective, adverb
1.
without care, thought, or consideration; sometimes, brusque or ungracious: an offhand manner
2.
without preparation or warning; impromptu
Derived Forms
offhandedly, adverb
offhandedness, noun
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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