Definition of call-off in US English:



  • 1An instance of being called away from an activity; an instance of calling (a person or animal, especially a dog) off. rare.

  • 2US. An instance of an employee reporting his or her absence from work that day, especially due to illness. Compare to call off.

  • 3A cancellation of an event, activity, etc. Compare to call off.

  • 4Business. A purchaser's request for a delivery of goods or services which have been ordered in full but are to be supplied on demand; (occasionally also) a contract for order and delivery of this kind.


Late 19th century; earliest use found in Joseph Parker (1830–1902), Congregational minister. From call + off, after to call off.