View synonyms for off and on

off and on

  1. Also, off again, on again ; on again, off again . Uncertain, vacillating, as in Theirs is an off again, on again relationship , or The peace talks are on again, off again . Some believe this term originally referred to minor railroad accidents, where a train went off track and then on again. [Mid-1800s]

  2. Intermittently, from time to time. For example, I read his column off and on , or We've been working on the garden all summer, on and off . [Early 1500s]

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Idioms and Phrases

Also, on and off .

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Example Sentences

Howard Hughes lived in the hotel off-and-on for thirty years, reserving several of their bungalow-style suites at a time.

We filmed it off-and-on over the course of a few months earlier this year.

Miss Charlotte's temper is past all the last few weeks, she is that off-and-on and changeable like and spirity.

If he'd a reg'lar task to do, He never took no rest; Or if 'twas off-and-on—the same— He done his level best.

The mate answered in the negative and advised proceeding under half sail and standing off-and-on till daybreak.

And it puzzled folk that the rivalry of the two men should be bound up in a curious off-and-on sort of intimacy.

There was a subject to which I had given some years of off-and-on study.


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Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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




Offalyoff and running