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[awf-hand, of-] /ˈɔfˈhænd, ˈɒf-/
cavalierly, curtly, or brusquely:
to reply offhand.
without previous thought or preparation; extempore:
to decide offhand to take a trip.
informal, casual, curt, or brusque:
an offhand manner.
Also, offhanded. done or made offhand.
Glassmaking. working manually and without the use of molds:
offhand blowing.
Origin of offhand
First recorded in 1685-95; off + hand
Related forms
offhandedly, adverb
offhandedness, noun
1. short, shortly, abruptly. 3, 4. impromptu, extempore.
4. considered. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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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


adjective, adverb
without care, thought, or consideration; sometimes, brusque or ungracious: an offhand manner
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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