off-key

[awf-kee, of-]
See more synonyms for off-key on Thesaurus.com

Origin of off-key

First recorded in 1925–30
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


British Dictionary definitions for off key

off key

adjective, adverb (off-key when prenominal)
  1. music
    1. not in the correct key
    2. out of tune
  2. out of keeping; discordant
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

Word Origin and History for off key

off-key

adj.

1920, from off (adv.) + musical sense of key (n.1). Figurative sense is from 1943.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper