View synonyms for off-duty


[ awf-doo-tee, -dyoo-, of- ]


  1. not engaged in the performance of one's usual work:

    an off-duty police officer.

  2. of, relating to, or during a period when a person is not at work.

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Word History and Origins

Origin of off-duty1

First recorded in 1850–55

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Idioms and Phrases

see under on duty .

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Example Sentences

A passing off-duty school safety officer named Fred Lucas said that he had been told the man was a drug dealer.

The NOPD fired Knight in 1973 for stealing lumber from a construction site as an off-duty cop.

They selected an “easy mark” who turned out to be an off-duty NYC Housing Authority cop named James Carragher.

The theater manager called security, and three moonlighting off-duty police deputies arrived.

Three off-duty cops working as security guards apprehended Saylor and proceeded to restrain him in an ultimately fatal fashion.

She enjoyed her work in Egypt, and found many opportunities for interesting expeditions in her off-duty time.

At last Tabs saw how she looked in her off-duty moments, when she wasn't occupied with being respectful.

I'm just going off-duty now, ma'm; the night shift came on about ten minutes ago, at six o'clock.

It took all the off-duty men from six precincts to handle the last riot.

Mac came into the half-ruined dugout where the off-duty machine gunners were making tea over a fire of splintered logs.


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.