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


not for publication; not to be quoted: a candidate's off-the-record remarks to reporters.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

Nearby words

  1. off-the-cuff,
  2. off-the-face,
  3. off-the-job,
  4. off-the-peg,
  5. off-the-rack,
  6. off-the-shelf,
  7. off-the-wall,
  8. off-topic,
  9. off-trail,
  10. off-white

Origin of off-the-record

First recorded in 1930–35


[verb ri-kawrd; noun, adjective rek-erd]

verb (used with object)

to set down in writing or the like, as for the purpose of preserving evidence.
to cause to be set down or registered: to record one's vote.
to state or indicate: He recorded his protest, but it was disregarded.
to serve to relate or to tell of: The document records that the battle took place six years earlier.
to set down or register in some permanent form, as on a seismograph.
to set down, register, or fix by characteristic marks, incisions, magnetism, etc., for the purpose of reproduction by a phonograph or magnetic reproducer.
to make a recording of: The orchestra recorded the 6th Symphony.

verb (used without object)

to record something; make a record.

noun rec·ord [rek-erd] /ˈrɛk ərd/

an act of recording.
the state of being recorded, as in writing.
an account in writing or the like preserving the memory or knowledge of facts or events.
information or knowledge preserved in writing or the like.
a report, list, or aggregate of actions or achievements: He made a good record in college. The ship has a fine sailing record.
a legally documented history of criminal activity: They discovered that the suspect had a record.
something or someone serving as a remembrance; memorial: Keep this souvenir as a record of your visit.
the tracing, marking, or the like, made by a recording instrument.
something on which sound or images have been recorded for subsequent reproduction, as a grooved disk that is played on a phonograph or an optical disk for recording sound (audio disc) or images (videodisc).Compare compact disk.
the highest or best rate, amount, etc., ever attained, especially in sports: to hold the record for home runs; to break the record in the high jump.
Sports. the standing of a team or individual with respect to contests won, lost, and tied.
an official writing intended to be preserved.
Computers. a group of related fields, or a single field, treated as a unit and comprising part of a file or data set, for purposes of input, processing, output, or storage by a computer.
  1. the commitment to writing, as authentic evidence, of something having legal importance, especially as evidence of the proceedings or verdict of a court.
  2. evidence preserved in this manner.
  3. an authentic or official written report of proceedings of a court of justice.

adjective rec·ord [rek-erd] /ˈrɛk ərd/

making or affording a record.
surpassing or superior to all others: a record year for automobile sales.

Origin of record

1175–1225; 1875–80 for def 17; (v.) Middle English recorden < Old French recorder < Latin recordārī to remember, recollect (re- re- + cord- (stem of cors) heart + -ārī infinitive ending); (noun) Middle English record(e) < Old French, derivative of recorder; compare Medieval Latin recordum

Related formsre·cord·a·ble, adjectiverec·ord·less, adjectiveun·re·cord·a·ble, adjectivewell-re·cord·ed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for off the record

off the record

adjective (off-the-record when prenominal)

not intended for publication or disclosure; confidential


with such an intention; unofficially


noun (ˈrɛkɔːd)

an account in permanent form, esp in writing, preserving knowledge or information about facts or events
a written account of some transaction that serves as legal evidence of the transaction
a written official report of the proceedings of a court of justice or legislative body, including the judgments given or enactments made
anything serving as evidence or as a memorialthe First World War is a record of human folly
(often plural) information or data on a specific subject collected methodically over a long periodweather records
  1. the best or most outstanding amount, rate, height, etc, ever attained, as in some field of sportan Olympic record; a world record; to break the record for the long jump
  2. (as modifier)a record time
the sum of one's recognized achievements, career, or performancethe officer has an excellent record
a list of crimes of which an accused person has previously been convicted, which are known to the police but may only be disclosed to a court in certain circumstances
have a record to be a known criminal; have a previous conviction or convictions
Also called: gramophone record, disc a thin disc of a plastic material upon which sound has been recorded. Each side has a spiral groove, which undulates in accordance with the frequency and amplitude of the sound. Records were formerly made from a shellac-based compound but were later made from vinyl plastics
the markings made by a recording instrument such as a seismograph
computing a group of data or piece of information preserved as a unit in machine-readable form
(in some computer languages) a data structure designed to allow the handling of groups of related pieces of information as though the group were a single entity
for the record for the sake of a strict factual account
go on record to state one's views publicly
on record
  1. stated in a public document
  2. publicly known
put the record straight or set the record straight to correct an error or misunderstanding

verb (rɪˈkɔːd) (mainly tr)

to set down in some permanent form so as to preserve the true facts ofto record the minutes of a meeting
to contain or serve to relate (facts, information, etc)
to indicate, show, or registerhis face recorded his disappointment
to remain as or afford evidence ofthese ruins record the life of the Romans in Britain
(also intr) to make a recording of (music, speech, etc) for reproduction, or for later broadcasting
(also intr) (of an instrument) to register or indicate (information) on a scalethe barometer recorded a low pressure
Derived Formsrecordable, adjective

Word Origin for record

C13: from Old French recorder to call to mind, from Latin recordārī to remember, from re- + cor heart

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 the record
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for off the record




To set down for preservation in writing or other permanent form.
To register or indicate.


An account, as of information or facts, set down especially in writing as a means of preserving knowledge.
A medical record.
In dentistry, a registration of desired jaw relations in a plastic material or on a device so that such relations may be transferred to an articulator.
The known history of performance, activities, or achievement.
A collection of related, often adjacent items of computer data, treated as a unit.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with off the record

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.


see break the record; go on record; just for the record; off the record; set (the record) straight; track record.

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