[set-awf, -of]
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  1. something that counterbalances or makes up for something else, as compensation for a loss.
  2. Accounting. a counterbalancing debt or claim, especially one that cancels an amount a debtor owes.
  3. Also called offset. Architecture.
    1. a reduction in the thickness of a wall.
    2. a flat or sloping projection on a wall, buttress, or the like, below a thinner part.
  4. something used to enhance the effect of another thing by contrasting it, as an ornament.
  5. Printing. offset(def 7).

Origin of setoff

First recorded in 1615–25; noun use of verb phrase set off Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018