count off


1

Count aloud from one end of a line of persons to the other, each person counting in turn. For example, The soldiers counted off one by one. This usage and the practice it describes come from the military.

2

Place in a separate group by counting, as in The office counted off the telephone books for each delivery route.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.