• synonyms


[awf-hand, of-]
  1. cavalierly, curtly, or brusquely: to reply offhand.
  2. without previous thought or preparation; extempore: to decide offhand to take a trip.
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  1. informal, casual, curt, or brusque: an offhand manner.
  2. Also off·hand·ed. done or made offhand.
  3. Glassmaking. working manually and without the use of molds: offhand blowing.
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Origin of offhand

First recorded in 1685–95; off + hand
Related formsoff·hand·ed·ly, adverboff·hand·ed·ness, noun



Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for offhanded

Historical Examples

  • "I suppose they have a baby by now," she said in an offhanded tone.

    Virgin Soil

    Ivan S. Turgenev

  • Nobody hurt, you see, remarked Grizzly, in an offhanded way.

  • But Lou was jolly and frank and offhanded, while Ruth was painfully shy and reserved, and that was the secret of the whole matter.

  • Poor little Jane adds, "These words told me offhanded and without preparation agitated my soul within me."

    Ten Girls from History

    Kate Dickinson Sweetser

  • The cards were laid on the table by him, and Hop picked them up in an offhanded way.

British Dictionary definitions for offhanded


adjective, adverb Also: offhanded
  1. without care, thought, or consideration; sometimes, brusque or ungraciousan offhand manner
  2. without preparation or warning; impromptu
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Derived Formsoffhandedly, adverboffhandedness, noun
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