off Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary

Meaning of “off” in the English Dictionary

"off" in British English

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uk   /ɒf/  us   /ɑːf/

off adverb (AWAY FROM)

B1 away from a ​place or ​position, ​especially the ​presentplace, ​position, or ​time: He ​drove off at the most ​incrediblespeed. Keep the ​dog on the ​lead or he'll just ​run off. Someone ​ran off with (= took) my ​pen. She's off to Canada next ​week. I ​saw her off (= said ​goodbye) at the ​station. Finals are so far off that I'm not ​eventhinking about them ​yet.UK I'm off now - ​see you ​tomorrow.UK If we can get off (= ​leave) early ​tomorrowmorning we'll ​avoid most of the ​traffic.
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off adverb (REMOVED)

A2 used with ​actions in which something is ​removed or ​removes itself from another thing: Take ​yourjacket off. One of my ​buttons has come off. She had all her ​haircut off.
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off adverb (NOT OPERATING)

A2 (​especially of ​machines, ​electricaldevices, ​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.
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off adverb (LESS MONEY)

B1 (of ​money) taken away from the ​originalprice: You can get some ​money off if you ​paycash. There's 40 ​percent off this ​week on all ​wintercoats. There was $40 or $50 off most ​jackets in the ​store.
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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?
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off adverb (SEPARATED)

in such a way as to be ​separated: The ​police have shut/​closed off all ​streetsleading to the ​city. The ​area in the ​park where the ​kidsplay is ​fenced off for ​safetyreasons.
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off adverb (COMPLETELY)

in such a way as to be ​completelyabsent, ​especially because of having been used or ​killed: It says on the ​bottle that it kills off all ​knowngerms. 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 several ​bottles of ​wine.
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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 ​ourdinner. He's gone to sleep off a ​headache. There's no ​point in getting ​upset about what he said - you just have to ​laugh it off.


uk   /ɒf/  us   /ɑːf/

off preposition (AWAY FROM)

B1 down or away from a ​place, ​position, or ​time, ​especially the ​presentplace, ​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 ​ourtarget 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?)UK We've been ​working on the ​flat for six ​months now but we're still a ​long way off ​finishing.UK We're not ​far off (= we are ​quite near) London now.
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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 ​smallpiece off that ​bigwhitecheese? Take ​yourfeet 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 ​foodever since he had the ​stomachupset. She's well enough to be off the ​medicine now. She's been off ​drugs for a ​year now.UK The ​doctor says he can come off the ​tablets.UK I used to ​lovecoffee but I've gone off it (= ​stoppedliking it)recently.

off preposition (NEAR TO)

B2 near to: He ​lives just off the ​mainroad. It's an ​island off the ​eastcoast of Spain.


uk   /ɒf/  us   /ɑːf/

off adjective (STOPPED)

C2 [after verb] (of an ​arrangedevent) ​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 over) between Kim and Mike.
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off adjective (PROVIDED FOR)

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

off adjective (BELOW USUAL LEVEL)

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

off adjective (BAD)

B2 [after verb] mainly UK (of ​food and ​drink) no ​longerfresh or good to ​eat or ​drink because of being too ​old: This ​milksmells off. I'd ​bettereat this ​cheese before it goes off.
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off adjective (NO LONGER SERVED)

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

off adjective (RUDE)

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

offnoun [S]

uk   /ɒf/  us   /ɑːf/ UK informal
the off the ​act of ​leavingsomewhere: Are we ready for the off, then?

offverb [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 Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"off" in American English

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offadjective, adverb [not gradable]

 us   /ɔf/

off adjective, adverb [not gradable] (NOT OPERATING)

(esp. of a ​machine, ​electricaldevice, ​light, etc.) not ​operating because it is not ​switched on: Was the ​computer on or off when you ​left? Turn the ​engine off.

off adjective, adverb [not gradable] (NOT AT)

not at ​work or ​school, esp. being at ​home or on ​vacation: I’m going to take a ​week off to ​work on my ​house. I’m off next ​week. The ​kids get off early from ​school duty To be off duty is to not be ​working, usually because you have ​finishedwork for the ​day: She goes off duty at ​midnight. An off-dutypoliceofficer on his way ​homeinterrupted a ​crime in ​progress.

off adjective, adverb [not gradable] (BELOW USUAL LEVEL)

below the ​usualstandard or ​rate: Sales have been off this ​month. He’s a good ​tennisplayer but had an off ​day and ​lost in ​straight sets. They took 10% off (= below the ​usualprice) because I ​paid in ​cash.

off adjective, adverb [not gradable] (STOPPED)

(of an ​arrangedevent) ​stopped or given up in ​advance: Last night’s ​baseballgame was called off because of ​rain.

offpreposition, adjective, adverb [not gradable]

 us   /ɔf/

off preposition, adjective, adverb [not gradable] (AWAY FROM)

away from a ​place or ​position, esp. the ​presentplace or ​position: He ​drove off at high ​speed. She’s off to Canada next ​week. The ​sign says, "Keep off the ​grass."

offpreposition, adverb [not gradable]

 us   /ɔf/

off preposition, adverb [not gradable] (REMOVED)

used with ​actions in which something is ​removed or ​removes itself from another thing: I ​think I’ll take my ​jacket off. I can’t get the ​lid off this ​jar. He ​fell off his ​bike. Did you ​leave the ​phone off the ​hook (= not put back in such a way that a ​call is ​ended)?

off preposition, adverb [not gradable] (FAR AWAY)

far away in ​time or ​space: Graduation is still a ​long way off. That’s not the ​rightanswer, but you’re not ​far off.


 us   /ɔf/

off preposition (NEAR TO)

near to: The ​island is just off the ​coast of Florida.

offadverb [not gradable]

 us   /ɔf/

off adverb [not gradable] (TAKEN AWAY)

in such a way as to be taken away or ​removed, esp. because of having been used or ​killed: to ​pay off ​debts Exercise ​burns off ​fat. They were all ​killed off by ​disease.

off adverb [not gradable] (CLOSED)

in such a way as to be separated: to ​mark off 10 ​feet The children’s ​playarea is ​fenced off for ​safetyreasons.
(Definition of off from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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