[ awf-thuh-wawl, of- ]
/ ˈɔf ðəˈwɔl, ˈɒf- /

adjective Informal.

markedly unconventional; bizarre; oddball: an unpredictable, off-the-wall personality.



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Origin of off-the-wall

First recorded in 1970–75 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for off-the-wall

  • Zentai originated in the 1980s in Japan, land of synthetic fibers and off-the-wall trends, and has recently begun migrating west.

    Men Who Love Lycra|Will Doig|March 3, 2010|DAILY BEAST

British Dictionary definitions for off-the-wall



(off the wall when postpositive) slang new or unexpected in an unconventional or eccentric wayan off-the-wall approach to humour

Word Origin for off-the-wall

C20: possibly from the use of the phrase in handball and squash to describe a shot that is unexpected
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

Idioms and Phrases with off-the-wall

off the wall

Eccentric, unconventional, as in That idea of opening a 100-seat theater is off the wall. This expression probably originated in baseball or some other sport in which the ball can bounce off a wall in an erratic way. [Colloquial; 1960s]

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