View synonyms for off-the-cuff


[ awf-thuh-kuhf, of- ]


  1. with little or no preparation; extemporaneous; impromptu:

    a speaker with a good off-the-cuff delivery.

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Word History and Origins

Origin of off-the-cuff1

First recorded in 1940–45

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Idioms and Phrases

Impromptu, extemporaneous, as in His speech was entirely off the cuff . This term supposedly alludes to the practice of speakers making last-minute notes on the cuff of a shirtsleeve. [1930s]

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Example Sentences

Walters took the opportunity to lob some off-the-cuff softball questions.

"I'm still crying," she quipped in the "off-the-cuff" (totally scripted) banter in the segment that followed.

The uproar over Ferguson's off-the-cuff quip sent me back to reread it.

A walk down its main drag, Bedford Avenue, reveals many off-the-cuff looks and subversive appearances.

Twitter, as a chamber of instant reactions and off-the-cuff musings, is in some way a mirror of true character.

They couldn't fool me with their slick off-the-cuff ready-made know-it-all responses!


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.




off-the-booksoff the deep end