off the mark

Also, wide of the mark. Inaccurate, wrong, as in The forecast was off the mark, since unemployment is down, or His answers on the test were just wide of the mark. It is also put as miss the mark, meaning “be mistaken,” as in The minister missed the mark when he assumed everyone would contribute to the supper. All these terms allude to mark in the sense of “a target,” as do the antonyms on the mark and hit the mark, meaning “exactly right,” as in He was right on the mark with that budget amendment, or Bill hit the mark when he accused Tom of lying. [Mid-1300s]

Nearby words

  1. off the cuff,
  2. off the deep end,
  3. off the ground,
  4. off the handle,
  5. off the hook,
  6. off the rack,
  7. off the rails,
  8. off the record,
  9. off the shelf,
  10. off the top of one's head

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