From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary


1. On the farther side; most distant; on the side of an animal or a team farthest from the driver when he is on foot; in the united states, the right side; as, the off horse or ox in a team, in distinction from the nigh or near horse or ox; the off leg.

2. Designating a time when one is not strictly attentive to business or affairs, or is absent from his post, and, hence, a time when affairs are not urgent; as, he took an off day for fishing: an off year in politics. In the off season. Off side. The right hand side in driving; the farther side. See Gee.

In a general sense, denoting from or away from; as:

1. Denoting distance or separation; as, the house is a mile off.

2. Denoting the action of removing or separating; separation; as, to take off the hat or cloak; to cut off, to pare off, to clip off, to peel off, to tear off, to march off, to fly off, and the like.

3. Denoting a leaving, abandonment, departure, abatement, interruption, or remission; as, the fever goes off; the pain goes off; the game is off; all bets are off.

4. Denoting a different direction; not on or towards: away; as, to look off.

5. Denoting opposition or negation. The questions no way touch upon puritanism, either off or on. (bp. Sanderson) From off, off from; off. A live coal..taken with the tongs from off the altar. . Off and on. Not constantly; not regularly; now and then; occasionally.

To divide and [[prac 6a9 tice]] a regiment or company in the several formations, preparatory to marching to the general parade for field exercises. To be well off, to be in good condition. To be ill off, To be badly off, to be in poor condition.

Origin: OE. Of, orig. The same word as R. Of, prep, AS. Of, adv. & prep. 194. See Of.