- the more distant part of the sea seen from the shore, beyond the anchoring ground.
- a position at a distance from shore.
- in the offing,
- at a distance but within sight.
- in the projected future; likely to happen: A wedding is in the offing.
Origin of offing
- so as to be no longer supported or attached: This button is about to come off.
- so as to be no longer covering or enclosing: to take a hat off; to take the wrapping off.
- away from a place: to run off; to look off toward the west.
- away from a path, course, etc.; aside: This road branches off to Grove City.
- so as to be away or on one's way: to start off early; to cast off.
- away from what is considered normal, regular, standard, or the like: to go off on a tangent.
- from a charge or price: He took 10 percent off for all cash purchases.
- at a distance in space or future time: to back off a few feet; Summer is only a week off.
- out of operation or effective existence: Turn the lights off.
- into operation or action: The alarm goes off at noon.
- so as to interrupt continuity or cause discontinuance: Negotiations have been broken off.
- in absence from work, service, a job, etc.: two days off at Christmas.
- completely; utterly: to kill off all the inhabitants.
- with prompt or ready performance: to dash a letter off.
- to fulfillment, or into execution or effect: The contest came off on the appointed day.
- into nonexistence or nothingness: My headache passed off soon.
- so as to be delineated, divided, or apportioned: Mark it off into equal parts.
- away from a state of consciousness: I must have dozed off.
- Nautical. away from the land, a ship, the wind, etc.
- so as no longer to be supported by, attached to, on, resting on, or unified with: Take your feet off the table! Break a piece of bread off the loaf.
- deviating from: off balance; off course.
- below or less than the usual or expected level or standard: 20 percent off the marked price; I was off my golf game.
- away, disengaged, or resting from: to be off duty on Tuesdays.
- Informal. refraining or abstaining from; denying oneself the pleasure, company, practice, etc., of: He's off gambling.
- away from; apart or distant from: a village off the main road.
- leading into or away from: an alley off 12th Street.
- not fixed on or directed toward, as the gaze, eyes, etc.: Their eyes weren't off the king for a moment.
- Informal. from (a specified source): I bought it off a street vendor.
- from or of, indicating material or component parts: to lunch off cheese and fruit.
- from or by such means or use of: living off an inheritance; living off his parents.
- Nautical. at some distance to seaward of: off Cape Hatteras.
- in error; wrong: You are off on that point.
- slightly abnormal or not quite sane: He is a little off, but he's really harmless.
- not up to standard; not so good or satisfactory as usual; inferior or subnormal: a good play full of off moments.
- no longer in effect, in operation, or in process: The agreement is off.
- stopped from flowing, as by the closing of a valve: The electricity is off.
- in a specified state, circumstance, etc.: to be badly off for money.
- (of time) free from work or duty; nonworking: a pastime for one's off hours.
- not working at one's usual occupation: We're off Wednesdays during the summer.
- of less than the ordinary activity, liveliness, or lively interest; slack: an off season in the tourist trade.
- unlikely; remote; doubtful: on the off chance that we'd find her at home.
- more distant; farther: the off side of a wall.
- (of a vehicle, single animal, or pair of animals hitched side by side) of, being, or pertaining to the right as seen from the rider's or driver's viewpoint (opposed to near): the off horse; the off side.
- starting on one's way; leaving: I'm off to Europe on Monday. They're off and running in the third race at Aqueduct.
- lower in price or value; down: Stock prices were off this morning.
- Nautical. noting one of two like things that is the farther from the shore; seaward: the off side of the ship.
- Cricket. noting or pertaining to that side of the wicket or of the field opposite that on which the batsman stands.
- the state or fact of being off.
- Cricket. the off side.
- to go off or away; leave (used imperatively): Off, and don't come back!
- Slang. to kill; slay.
- get off on. get1(def 57).
- get it off. get1(def 54).
- off and on,
- Also on and off.with intervals between; intermittently: to work off and on.
- Nautical.on alternate tacks.
- off of, Informal. off: Take your feet off of the table!
- off with,
- take away; remove: Off with those muddy boots before you step into this kitchen!
- cut off: Off with his head!
Origin of off
Related Wordshomicide, lynching, massacre, felony, crime, destruction, bloodshed, shooting, manslaughter, assassination, terrorism, warfare, havoc, killing, slaughter, butchery, prospect, outlook, millennium, destiny
Examples from the Web for offing
Julian Fellowes can save his show by offing the target of his sadism.Just Kill Mr. Bates Already! How to Save ‘Downton Abbey’
February 20, 2014
In that groaner, Burt is convinced he is going to die soon and sets about offing himself.No DNA Testing For You, Thanks to the FDA
November 26, 2013
If their corner does not have the lights to see what is in the offing, then the boxer has to have the mettle to say “enough.”Boxers, Be Brave and Quit Before Your Brain Turns to Mush
October 25, 2013
So Israelis and Americans hearing seductive sonatas on this visit need brace themselves for the inevitable deeds in the offing.Bibi and Obama in Love?
Leslie H. Gelb
March 22, 2013
There is an untold number of other Zimmermans out there, waiting to protect the white race by offing a Young Black Male.Trayvon Martin Slaying Shows the Young Black Male Is Society’s Prime Target
March 26, 2012
We got into the offing, and squared away for the river again.Ned Myers
James Fenimore Cooper
Czerny's yacht lay, the picture of a ship, eastward in the offing.The House Under the Sea
Sir Max Pemberton
We set there and thought and thought, and by and by I commenced to sight an idee in the offing.Cape Cod Stories
Joseph C. Lincoln
From the top of our tower we saw the Fleet far out in the offing.The Red Hand of Ulster
George A. Birmingham
Now let us see if we can train this saker to command the offing.Standish of Standish
Jane G. Austin
- the part of the sea that can be seen from the shore
- in the offing likely to occur soon
- used to indicate actions in which contact is absent or rendered absent, as between an object and a surfaceto lift a cup off the table
- used to indicate the removal of something that is or has been appended to or in association with something elseto take the tax off potatoes
- out of alignment withwe are off course
- situated near to or leading away fromjust off the High Street
- not inclined towardsI'm off work; I've gone off you
- (particle) so as to be deactivated or disengagedturn off the radio
- so as to get rid ofsleep off a hangover
- so as to be removed from, esp as a reductionhe took ten per cent off
- spent away from work or other dutiestake the afternoon off
- on a trip, journey, or raceI saw her off at the station
- (particle)so as to be completely absent, used up, or exhaustedthis stuff kills off all vermin
- out from the shore or landthe ship stood off
- out of contact; at a distancethe ship was 10 miles off
- out of the present locationthe girl ran off
- away in the futureAugust is less than a week off
- (particle) so as to be no longer taking placethe match has been rained off
- (particle) removed from contact with something, as clothing from the bodythe girl took all her clothes off
- offstagenoises off
- commerce (used with a preceding number) indicating the number of items required or producedplease supply 100 off
- off and on or on and off occasionally; intermittentlyhe comes here off and on
- off with (interjection) a command, often peremptory, or an exhortation to remove or cut off (something specified)off with his head; off with that coat, my dear
- not on; no longer operativethe off position on the dial
- (postpositive) not or no longer taking place; cancelled or postponedthe meeting is off
- in a specified condition regarding money, provisions, etcwell off; how are you off for bread?
- unsatisfactory or disappointinghis performance was rather off; an off year for good tennis
- (postpositive) in a condition as specifiedI'd be better off without this job
- (postpositive) no longer on the menu; not being served at the momentsorry, love, haddock is off
- (postpositive) (of food or drink) having gone bad, sour, etcthis milk is off
- the part of the field on that side of the pitch to which the batsman presents his bat when taking strike: thus for a right-hander, off is on the right-hand sideCompare leg (def. 13)
- (in combination)a fielding position in this part of the fieldmid-off
- (as modifier)the off stump
- (tr) to kill (someone)
Word Origin and History for offing
by c.1200 as an emphatic form of Old English of (see of), employed in the adverbial use of that word. The prepositional meaning "away from" and the adjectival sense of "farther" were not firmly fixed in this variant until 17c., but once they were they left the original of with the transferred and weakened senses of the word. Meaning "not working" is from 1861. Off the cuff (1938) is from the notion of speaking from notes written in haste on one's shirt cuffs. Off the rack (adj.) is from 1963; off the record is from 1933; off the wall "crazy" is 1968, probably from the notion of a lunatic "bouncing off the walls" or else in reference to carom shots in squash, handball, etc.
"to kill," 1930, from off (adv.). Earlier verbal senses were "to defer" (1640s), "to move off" (1882). Related: Offed.
Idioms and Phrases with offing
see in the offing.
In addition to the idioms beginning with off
- off again, on again
- off and on
- off and running
- off balance
- off base
- off duty
- off guard
- off of
- off one's chest, get
- off one's feed
- off one's guard
- off one's head
- off one's high horse
- off one's rocker
- off someone's back
- off someone's feet
- off someone's hands
- off the air
- off the beam
- off the beaten track
- off the cuff
- off the deep end
- off the ground
- off the handle
- off the hook
- off the mark
- off the rack
- off the rails
- off the record
- off the shelf
- off the top of one's head
- off the track
- off the wagon
- off the wall
- back off
- bad off
- beat off
- beat the pants off
- beg off
- be off
- better off
- bite off more than one can chew
- bite someone's head off
- blast off
- blow off
- blow off steam
- blow the lid off
- bore to death (the pants off)
- branch off
- break off
- bring off
- browned off
- brush off
- bug off
- bump off
- burn off
- buy off
- buzz off
- call off
- cap it all (off)
- carry off
- cart off
- cast off
- change off
- charge off
- check off
- cheesed off
- chip off the old block
- choke off
- clear out (off)
- come off
- come off it
- cool down (off)
- cool off
- count off
- cry off
- cut off
- cut off one's nose
- dash off
- day off
- die off
- doze off
- drop off
- dust off
- ease off
- easy as pie (rolling off a log)
- fall away (off)
- fat of the land, live off the
- fight off
- fire off
- first off
- fish or cut bait (shit or get off)
- fly off the handle
- fob off
- fuck off
- get off
- get off on
- get off one's tail
- get off the dime
- get off the ground
- give off
- give the shirt off one's back
- go off
- go off the deep end
- goof off
- hands off
- hats off to
- haul off
- have it (off)
- head off
- high off the hog
- hit it off
- hold off
- hot off the press
- jerk off
- jumping-off place
- keep off
- kick off
- kill off
- kiss off
- knock it off
- knock off
- knock someone's block off
- knock the socks off
- laugh off
- lay off
- lead off
- leave off
- let off
- level off
- lift off
- like a chicken with its head cut off
- like water off a duck's back
- load off one's mind
- log in (off)
- make off
- mouth off
- nod off
- no skin off one's nose
- on (off) camera
- on (off) duty
- on the (off) chance
- pack off
- pair off
- palm off
- pants off
- pass off
- pay off
- peel off
- pick off
- piss off
- play off
- polish off
- pull off
- push off
- put off
- put someone off
- quick off the mark
- rake off
- rattle off
- right away (off)
- rip off
- round off
- rub off
- run away (off)
- run off
- run off at the mouth
- run off with
- rush off one's feet
- seal off
- see someone off
- sell off
- send off
- set off
- shake off
- shoot off one's mouth
- show off
- shrug off
- sign off
- slack off
- slip out (off)
- sound off
- spin off
- split one's sides (laugh one's head off)
- sponge on (off)
- square off
- squeeze off
- stand off
- stave off
- stop off
- straight off
- swear off
- switch on (off)
- tail off
- take off
- take off after
- take the edge off
- take up where one left off
- talk someone's arm off
- taper off
- tear off
- tee off
- tell off
- tell someone where to get off
- throw off
- trade off
- wipe off the map
Also see underon.