[awf-shoot, of-]


a branch or lateral shoot from a main stem, as of a plant.
anything conceived of as springing or proceeding from a main stock: an offshoot of a discussion.
a branch, descendant, or scion of a specific population or family.

Origin of offshoot

First recorded in 1665–75; off + shoot1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for offshoot

Contemporary Examples of offshoot

Historical Examples of offshoot

  • The morality was not so much an offshoot as a complement of the miracle.

    John Lyly

    John Dover Wilson

  • America, we might say, does not exist; there exists instead an offshoot of Europe.


    Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson

  • A round-topped hill, generally an offshoot from a higher mountain.

    The Sailor's Word-Book

    William Henry Smyth

  • He is an offshoot of the Spanish family that ruled the Isthmus 153 after Balboa was shot.

  • Besides, it is clear that Mohammedanism is an offshoot of Zoroastrianism and Christianity.


    Th. Pascal

British Dictionary definitions for offshoot



a shoot or branch growing from the main stem of a plant
something that develops or derives from a principal source or origin
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 offshoot

1670s, in figurative sense, of family trees; 1801 in general sense of "a derivative;" 1814 in literal sense, in reference to plants. From off + shoot (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper