Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “off”

off

adverb uk   /ɒf/ us    /ɑːf/

off adverb (AWAY FROM)

B1 away from a place or position, especially the present place, position, or time: He drove off at the most incredible speed. Keep the dog on the lead or he'll just run off. Someone's run off with (= taken) my pen. I'm just going off to the shops. If we can get off (= leave) early tomorrow morning we'll avoid most of the traffic. I'm off now - see you tomorrow. She's off to Canada next week. I saw her off (= said goodbye) at the station. The exams are so far off that I'm not even thinking about them yet.

off adverb (REMOVED)

A2 used with actions in which something is removed or removes itself from another thing: Take your jacket off. One of my buttons has come off. She's had all her hair cut off.

off adverb (NOT OPERATING)

A2 (especially of machines, electrical devices, lights, etc.) not operating because of not being switched on: Make sure the computers are all off before you go home. Turn/Switch the light/engine/television off.

off adverb (LESS MONEY)

B1 (of money) taken away from the original price: You can get some money off if you pay cash. There's 40 percent off this week on all winter coats. There was $40 or $50 off most jackets in the store.

off adverb (NOT AT WORK)

A2 not at work; at home or on holiday: I'm going to take/have some time off to work on my house. She was off sick last week. He's off at the moment - can I get him to call you back?

off adverb (SEPARATED)

in such a way as to be separated: The police have shut/closed off all streets leading to the city. The area in the park where the kids play is fenced off for safety reasons.

off adverb (COMPLETELY)

in such a way as to be completely absent, especially because of having been used or killed: It says on the bottle that it kills off all known germs. It'll take some time before she manages to pay off all her debts. The good thing about exercise is that it burns off calories. Between us we managed to finish off eight bottles of wine.

off adverb (GET RID OF)

in such a way as to get rid of something: We went out for a while to walk off some of our dinner. He's gone to sleep off a headache. There's no point in getting upset about such remarks - you've just got to laugh them off.

off

preposition uk   /ɒf/ us    /ɑːf/

off preposition (AWAY FROM)

B1 down or away from a place, position, or time, especially the present place, position, or time: There was a 'Keep off the grass' sign. All the berries had dropped off the tree. He fell off his bike. We're still a long way off our target of £30,000. I hope she knows where to get off (= leave) the bus/train. How far off finishing the project are we? (= How much more is there to do?) We've been working on the flat for six months now but we're still a long way off finishing. We're not far off (= we are quite near) London now.

off preposition (REMOVED)

B1 used with actions in which something is removed or removes itself from another thing: I can't get the lid off this jar. Has anyone taken a book off my desk? Could you cut me a small piece off that big white cheese? Take your feet off that seat, young man! I don't like taking money off you (= asking you for money)! Get off me! (= Stop touching me!)not standard I got the knife off of him before he ran away.

off preposition (NOT LIKING)

not liking or taking something or someone: He's been off his food ever since he had the stomach upset. I used to love coffee but I've gone off it (= stopped liking it) recently. She's well enough to be off the medicine now. The doctor says he can come off the tablets. She's been off drugs for a year now.

off preposition (NEAR TO)

B2 near to: He lives just off the main road. It's an island off the east coast of Spain.

off

adjective uk   /ɒf/ us    /ɑːf/

off adjective (BAD)

B2 [after verb] (of food and drink) no longer fresh or good to eat or drink because of being too old: This milk smells off. I'd better eat this cheese before it goes off.

off adjective (STOPPED)

C2 [after verb] (of an arranged event) stopped or given up: The wedding's off - she's decided she's too young to settle down.informal It's all off (= the relationship is finished) between Philippa and Mike.

off adjective (PROVIDED FOR)

having a particular amount or number, especially of money: UK How are you off for money? (= do you have enough?) Andrew must be so well-off (= rich) by now. I think they're fairly badly-off (= poor) now that David has lost his job. I'm quite well off for (= have a lot of) sweaters.

off adjective (BELOW USUAL LEVEL)

below the usual standard or rate: I'm having an off day today - I just can't seem to do anything right!

off adjective (NO LONGER SERVED)

[after verb] (of food in a restaurant) not available at that particular time: I'm sorry, sir, the salmon is off.

off adjective (RUDE)

[after verb] mainly UK informal not thinking or worrying about other people's feelings; rude: He didn't even call her on her birthday - I thought that was a bit off.

off

noun [S] uk   /ɒf/ us    /ɑːf/ UK informal
the off the act of leaving somewhere: Are we ready for the off, then?

off

verb [T] uk   /ɒf/ us    /ɑːf/ US slang
to kill someone: They offed him and dumped his body in the swamp.
(Definition of off from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of off?
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Separating and dividing, but you might be interested in these topics from the Cutting and joining topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “off” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

hello stranger

said to a person that you know but have not seen for a long time

Word of the Day

Come on – you can do it! Phrasal verbs with ‘come’.

by Liz Walter​,
November 19, 2014
As part of an occasional series on the tricky subject of phrasal verbs, this blog looks at ones formed with the verb ‘come’. If you are reading this blog, I’m sure you already know come from, as it is one of the first things you learn in class: I come from Scotland/Spain.

Read More 

silver splicer noun

November 17, 2014
informal a person who marries in later life Newly retired and now newlywed – rise of the ‘silver splicers’ Reaching pension age becomes a trigger to tie the knot as baby-boomers begin to redefine retirement

Read More