[ awf-thuh-rek-erd, of- ]

  1. not for publication; not to be quoted: a candidate's off-the-record remarks to reporters.

  2. confidential: off-the-record information.

Origin of off-the-record

First recorded in 1930–35 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use off-the-record in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for off the record

off the record

adjective(off-the-record when prenominal)
  1. not intended for publication or disclosure; confidential

  1. with such an intention; unofficially

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with off-the-record


Unofficially, in confidence, not for publication, as in What he was about to say, he told the reporters, was strictly off the record. Probably alluding to striking evidence from a court record (because it is irrelevant or improper), this term came into wide use in the mid-1900s, especially with reference to persons who did not wish to be quoted by journalists. For antonyms, see go on record; just for the record.

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