Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

come off - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

phrasal verb
Word Forms
present tense
I/you/we/theycome off
he/she/itcomes off
present participlecoming off
past tensecame off
past participlecome off
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] come off something to fall off something that you are riding

    She’d come off her new bike and hurt her knee.

  2. 2
    [intransitive/transitive] come off something if something such as dirt or paint comes off something, it is removed by washing or rubbing

    The chewing gum wouldn’t come off.

    1. a.
      to stop being attached to something

      I pulled at the drawer, and the handle came off.

      One of the legs has come off the table.

  3. 3
    [transitive] come off something to stop taking something such as a medicine or drug

    She’d been advised to come off the medication immediately.

  4. 4
    [intransitive] to succeed

    What if their plan doesn’t come off?

    The party didn’t quite come off as we had hoped.

  5. 5
    [intransitive] to happen

    Another competition is coming off in the summer.

  6. 6
    [intransitive] to achieve a particular result in an activity, especially a competition or fight
    come off well/badly/best/worst:

    He came off quite badly in the exchange of insults.

  7. 7
    [intransitive] to leave a sports field and be replaced by another member of your team
  8. 8
    American same as come1

    I don’t want to come off as desperate.

  9. 9
    come off it spoken
    1. a.
      used for telling someone to stop doing or saying something

      Come off it – she was only trying to help.

    2. b.
      used for telling someone that you do not believe them or that what they are saying is stupid

      Come off it, I know lots of men who do housework.

See also main entry: come


the situation of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


a rise in the level of a stream or river

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play