Nearby words

  1. offload,
  2. offprint,
  3. offscouring,
  4. offscourings,
  5. offscreen,
  6. offset lithography,
  7. offset printing,
  8. offshoot,
  9. offshore,
  10. offshore dock

Origin of offset

First recorded in 1545–55; after verb phrase set off Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for offsetting

British Dictionary definitions for offsetting


noun (ˈɒfˌsɛt)

something that counterbalances or compensates for something else
an allowance made to counteract some effect
  1. a printing method in which the impression is made onto an intermediate surface, such as a rubber blanket, which transfers it to the paper
  2. (modifier)relating to, involving, or printed by offsetoffset letterpress; offset lithography
another name for set-off
  1. a short runner in certain plants, such as the houseleek, that produces roots and shoots at the tip
  2. a plant produced from such a runner
a ridge projecting from a range of hills or mountains
the horizontal component of displacement on a fault
a narrow horizontal or sloping surface formed where a wall is reduced in thickness towards the top
a person or group descended collaterally from a particular group or family; offshoot
surveying a measurement of distance to a point at right angles to a survey line

verb (ˌɒfˈsɛt) -sets, -setting or -set

(tr) to counterbalance or compensate for
(tr) to print (pictures, text, etc) using the offset process
(tr) to construct an offset in (a wall)
(intr) to project or develop as an offset
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

Word Origin and History for offsetting



1550s, "act of setting off" (on a journey, etc.), from off + set (adj.). Meaning "something 'set off' against something else, a counterbalance" is from 1769; the verb in this sense is from 1792. As a type of printing, in which the inked impression is first made on a rubber roller then transferred to paper, it is recorded from 1906.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for offsetting



A shoot that develops laterally at the base of a plant, often rooting to form a new plant. Many succulents and cacti are propagated by removing offsets and planting them elsewhere. See more at vegetative reproduction.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.