I. off 1 S1 W1 /ɒf $ ɒːf/ BrE AmE adverb , preposition , adjective
1 . away from a place:
He got into his car and drove off.
Suddenly they turned off and parked in a side road.
Once we were off the main freeway, the trip felt more like a vacation.
Her husband was off on a business trip somewhere.
Are you ready? Off we go.
I must be off now (=I must leave) .
They were off to Italy (=leaving to go to Italy) and wanted to make an early start.
2 . not on something, or removed from something:
Keep off the grass.
As he leaned forward, his hat fell off.
Someone had taken the mirror off the wall.
Take your coat off.
I was trying to scrape the mud off my boots.
► Do not say ‘off of’ something. Say off something : She fell off her chair (NOT off of her chair).
3 . out of a bus, train, plane etc OPP on :
I’ll get off at the next stop.
Everyone got off the train at Winnipeg.
4 . a machine, piece of equipment etc that is off is not working or operating OPP on :
Will someone switch the radio off?
Make sure all the lights are off.
5 . not at work, school etc because you are ill or on holiday ⇨ absent :
My secretary’s been off with flu for the past week.
Clare had to stay off school because her mother was ill.
You look tired. Why don’t you take tomorrow off?
He needs more time off duty for relaxation and rest.
‘Going to work today, mum?’ ‘No. It’s my day off today.'
6 . informal from someone:
My brother once borrowed some money off him.
I got this necklace off a woman outside the market.
a) used to say how far away something is:
We could see the cliffs of Shetland about two miles off.
Kara’s home was a long way off across the sea.
b) used to say how much time there is between now and a future event:
With the exams now only a week off, I had to study hard.
Christmas seemed a long way off.
c) used to say how likely or unlikely something is:
Any kind of peace agreement still seems a long way off.
a) only a short distance away from a place:
Our hotel was just off the main street.
an island off the coast of France
b) connected to a particular room, area, road etc:
There’s a small bathroom off the main bedroom.
a narrow street leading off the corner of the square
9 . used to say that a price is reduced by a particular amount:
If you buy more than ten, they knock 10% off.
10 . if an event which has been arranged is off, it will not now take place ⇨ cancelled , postponed :
The wedding’s off.
The race may have to be called off if the bad weather continues.
11 . British English informal behaviour that is off is rude or is not acceptable:
She walked out before the end of your lecture, which I thought was a bit off.
Look, I know when someone’s being off with me.
12 . used to say how much of something someone has
be well/badly off for something
The school’s fairly well off for books these days.
How are you off for sports equipment (=do you have enough?) ?
⇨ ↑ well-off , ↑ badly off , ↑ better off
13 . off and on ( also on and off ) for short periods but not regularly, over a long period of time:
We’ve been going out together for five years, off and on.
14 . no longer wanting or liking something:
Toby’s been off his food for a few days.
go off something/somebody British English :
I used to enjoy tennis, but I’ve gone off it a bit now.
She seems to have gone off Mark since he’s grown a beard.
15 . no longer taking something such as a drug or medicine OPP on :
The operation was a success, and she’s off the morphine.
a) food that is off is no longer fresh enough to eat ⇨ rotten , sour :
Ugh! The milk’s off.
Do you think the meat’s gone off?
b) used to say that a particular kind of food is not available in a restaurant although it is on the ↑ menu :
I’m sorry, the fish pie is off today, sir.
17 . American English not as good as usual:
Sales figures for last year were a little off compared with those of the previous year.
18 . American English not correct or not right:
Our calculations were off.
Guess again. You’re way off (=very far from being correct) .
⇨ right off at ↑ right 3 (2), ⇨ straight off at ↑ straight 1 (7), ⇨ off the top of your head at ↑ top 1 (18), ⇨ noises off at ↑ noise 1 (8)
II. off 2 BrE AmE adjective [only before noun]
1 . off day/week etc a day, week etc when you are not doing something as well as you usually do:
Brian never usually loses his temper – he must be having an off day.
2 . off period/season etc a period or season which is not as busy as other times of the year:
In the off season, there’s hardly anyone staying at the hotel.
3 . British English used to talk about a pair of things such as wheels on a car, to mean the one on the right OPP near
III. off 3 BrE AmE noun British English
1 . the off the start of a race or a journey:
The horses were in line, ready for the off.
2 . from the off from the beginning of something:
She was doubtful about the interview from the off.
IV. off 4 BrE AmE verb [transitive] American English informal
to kill someone:
The guy who did this ought to be offed.