off - definition and synonyms

adjective, adverb, preposition 

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Off can be used in the following ways:
as an adverb: He waved and drove off.She took her coat off and hung it up.My house is a long way off.
as a preposition: She got off the bus at the next stop.Keep off the grass. In spoken American English off of is often used instead of the preposition off, but many speakers of British English think that this is not correct.
as an adjective: This meat is definitely off – I can’t eat it.I’m having an off day.
  1. 1
    leaving a place, or going away from something

    With only $150 in his pocket, he set off for New Mexico.

    I’d never let an 11-year-old kid go off on his own.

    be off:

    If you don’t need me any more, I’ll be off.

    be off to:

    I’m off to Scotland next Tuesday.

  2. 2
    leaving a plane, train, bus etc
    get off:

    Ask the driver to stop the bus so we can get off.

    They didn’t see each other till they got off the plane.

  3. 3
    not on the top or surface of something, especially after being on it

    The wind blew a flowerpot off the balcony.

    Hold on tight so you don’t slip off.

    I had to scrape the dirt off the walls.

    She tried to push the dog off her but it kept jumping up.

    I was so surprised I nearly fell off my chair.

    keep/stay off:

    There was a sign saying ‘Keep off the grass’.

  4. 4
    no longer connected to someone or something

    They cut a branch off the tree.

    Cindy was playing with the doll when its leg fell off.

  5. 5
    close to something
    1. a.
      near a particular street, road etc, but not directly on it

      The restaurant is just off the main road.

    2. c.
      in a part of the sea that is near the land

      Two miles off the coast, we sailed right into the storm.

  6. 6
    a machine or piece of electrical equipment that is off is not switched on or is not being used

    The lights were off in the big house.

    I saw that all the machines were switched off.

  7. 7
    used for saying that clothes or shoes are removed

    We told the children to take off their wet clothes.

    She kicked off her shoes and settled down on the sofa.

  8. 8
    not at school or work, for example because you are not well or because it is not a normal working day

    I’m considering taking quite a bit of time off work.

    We’re planning a trip to the zoo on my day off.

    I took two weeks off in August.

    be off (=not at work or school):

    She’s off sick today.

  9. 9
    not talking about a particular subject

    We were told to keep off the subject of babies.

  10. 10
    used for saying that an event is no longer going to take place as planned

    Sorry, but the meeting’s off.

    Tonight’s game has been called off because of bad weather.

  11. 11
    no longer eating, using, or doing something
    1. a.
      no longer taking drugs or other harmful substances

      I’ve been off alcohol now for three weeks.

      He went to a treatment centre where he was gradually weaned off heroin.

    2. b.
      no longer eating or drinking something, or no longer doing an activity because you do not like it any more

      I’m off sweet things at the moment.

      go off something:

      I’ve gone off watching daytime talk shows.

      He seems to have gone right off his food.

  12. 12
    used for saying that a price has been reduced by a particular amount

    There’s now 30% off all swimsuits.

    Shares fell almost 10%, wiping $400 million off the company’s value.

    take something off something:

    They agreed to take £3 off the price.

  13. 13
    a particular time or distance away
    1. a.
      used for saying how much time there is between the present and a time or event in the future

      Christmas is only three weeks off.

      a long time off:

      Retirement is still a long time off.

    2. b.
      a particular distance away

      Their farm is only twenty miles off.

      a long way off:

      The nearest seaside resort is a long way off.

  14. 14
    food that is off is no longer fresh and is not good to eat

    This cream is slightly off.

    go off:

    This meat smells as if it’s gone off.

  15. 15
    British used for saying that something is not available in a restaurant
    be off:

    I’m sorry, sir, the roast lamb is off.

  16. 16
    spoken used for saying which person or thing something is taken from. Many people consider this to be incorrect

    Let’s see if we can get some money off my Dad.

    You could borrow a ladder off the people next door.

    I got your phone number off the memberslist.

  17. 17
    British used for saying that a machine or piece of equipment works by using a type of fuel or electricity
  18. 18
    not within a particular area

    People were warned to stay off the streets.

  19. 19
    strange, or unusual

    Something about the way he talked was a little off.

  20. 20
    in a good or bad situation
    1. b.
      be well/badly off for something informal to have a large/small amount of something

      Most of the colleges are pretty well off for computers.

      The kids are quite badly off for clothes.

      how are you off for something?:

      How are you off for money?

    2. c.
      be better/worse off mainly spoken to be in a situation that is better/worse for you than another one

      I’m starting to think I’d be better off without him.

      You couldn’t be any worse off than you are now.