Definition of offing in English:



  • The more distant part of the sea in view.

    • ‘We came past the island two days later and gave it an offing of over a mile compared to our usual half mile, with nothing to be seen, felt or smelt.’


  • in the offing

    • Likely to happen or appear soon.

      ‘there are several initiatives in the offing’
      • ‘We could not approach industry for substantive new funding with the minister's initiative in the offing.’
      • ‘With such a matrimonial event in the offing, it got me thinking today about the numerous weddings I've been to over the last few years.’
      • ‘It appeared that a friendly game of gin rummy was not in the offing, and I crept out of the room.’
      • ‘Already 1200 applications have been received from across the country and more are in the offing.’
      • ‘If they stretch their necks backward over their wings during the daytime this is said to be a warning of foul weather in the offing.’
      • ‘With that kind of trend in place, do you see any kind of reversal in the offing?’
      • ‘Many payments to politicians were made at times when local and general elections were in the offing.’
      • ‘Increasingly, legal mandates are in the offing to force you to design and deploy technology that restricts what you and your users may do.’
      • ‘Now, with Berry's inquiry in the offing, it is likely to resonate with a much wider audience.’
      • ‘Now there appears to be a savage credit crunch in the offing, and nobody seems to even notice.’
      likely to happen, on the way, coming soon, coming up, at hand, close at hand, near, imminent, in prospect, on the horizon, in the wings, just around the corner, in the air, in the wind, brewing, upcoming, forthcoming
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Early 17th century: perhaps from off + -ing.