[ awf-kuhl-er, of- ]
/ ˈɔfˈkʌl ər, ˈɒf- /


not having the usual or standard color: an off-color gem.
of doubtful propriety or taste; risqué: an off-color joke.
not in one's usual health: to feel off-color.

Nearby words

  1. off-camera,
  2. off-campus,
  3. off-center,
  4. off-centre,
  5. off-chance,
  6. off-colour,
  7. off-duty,
  8. off-glide,
  9. off-grid,
  10. off-guard

Also especially British, off-col·our. Also off-col·ored (for defs 1, 2).

Origin of off-color

First recorded in 1855–60 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Word Origin and History for off color



1858, from off (adv.) + color (n.); originally used of gems; figurative extension to "of questionable taste, risqué" is American English, 1867.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper