Definition of go off in US English:

go off

phrasal verb

  • 1(of a gun, bomb, or similar device) explode or fire.

    • ‘It was believed that on three of the devices the detonators went off but the bomb failed to explode.’
    • ‘Since the officers opened the windows a few minutes after the smoke bomb went off, I don't expect to find much residue upstairs.’
    • ‘When the first atomic bomb went off as some scientists had predicted it would, another bit of truth about the empirical world was revealed.’
    • ‘As more American forces came to the scene, another bomb went off, setting fire to a second vehicle, he said.’
    • ‘A car bomb exploded outside a police academy yesterday, and when police set up a checkpoint to close the area, a second car bomb went off, authorities said.’
    • ‘Neighbours say they were convinced a bomb had gone off when the firework exploded with a massive bang earlier this week in Harington Avenue, off Melrosegate.’
    • ‘Time seemed to stand still, but suddenly the bomb went off.’
    • ‘The gun went off and there was a bright flash of light, but it seemed like I was the only one who had seen it.’
    • ‘Once the first bomb goes off, forces must always look for the potential secondary or tertiary attack.’
    • ‘An improvised explosive device, a pipe bomb, went off and yes, it has, I suppose, marred the reputation of the 1996 Olympics.’
    explode, detonate, blow up, burst, erupt
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    1. 1.1 (of an alarm) begin to sound.
      • ‘Already the air was filled with the blaring sounds of alarms going off, and a few armed guards ran off towards us as we broke out of the door.’
      • ‘From the time my alarm clock goes off, I am beginning my workout.’
      • ‘On six occasions in the past year he has woken to the sound of breaking glass and the alarm going off.’
      • ‘A high-pitched smoke alarm went off, and water sprinklers began showering the entire kitchen.’
      • ‘I hadn't even smelled the smoke when the alarm went off.’
      • ‘The alarm clock went off and Nicole slammed her hand on top of it.’
      • ‘Well, I woke up well before the alarm went off at 6am this morning.’
      • ‘The postman always rings twice, always rings too loud, always rings ten minutes before your alarm's due to go off, and always rings and runs away before you get to the door.’
      • ‘He remembers how as a 12-year-old boy, he would run to the bunkers every time the siren went off and bombs exploded next to his house.’
      • ‘Why doesn't a little mental alarm go off and make you think: that doesn't sound right, could that be true?’
    2. 1.2informal Become suddenly angry; lose one's temper.
      ‘if you got in an argument with him, he'd just go off’
  • 2British (especially of food) begin to decompose; become unfit for consumption.

    • ‘An upcoming prospect is that soon your household appliances will be linked up to the internet and can share information so that your fridge will tell you when the milk has gone off.’
    • ‘Furthermore, a recent research report suggested that Briton needlessly waste money on food that goes off before it can be consumed.’
    • ‘The food goes off and Italian temperaments get extremely frazzled turning hotel rooms into makeshift kitchens.’
    • ‘Tesco delivers to the house each week, though sometimes the food goes off before we have a night in to eat it.’
    • ‘All this to stop milk going off for a while longer?’
    • ‘It's like sniffing sour milk to see if it's gone off: you just have to keep going back to make sure.’
    • ‘Anti-cancer broccoli was proposed, as was packaging containing a microchip which alerts you when food is going off.’
    • ‘Your fridge is no longer a place to pop the milk to stop it going off - it's an expression of who you are and where you want to be in life.’
    • ‘This allows us to buy what we need, meaning there is likely to be little waste, and fresh food does not go off before it's used.’
    • ‘Milk goes off more rapidly and can harbour pathogenic (food poisoning) bacteria.’
    go bad, go stale, go sour, turn, spoil, go rancid
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  • 3British informal Begin to dislike.

    ‘I went off chocolate when i was pregnant’
    • ‘And do not fret if Stonewall goes off his food, off to the farthest reaches of the house to sulk, or off to neighbor's back door for a day or two.’
    • ‘Even if he had a hard race and he was beaten, where other horses would fade away and maybe go off their grub, he would actually thrive on it.’
    • ‘After a while, if you listen to your body, you will find that you are not able to drink as much alcohol, you are losing your appetite and going off your food and you get tired easily.’
    • ‘Statistics show we've gone off our British food.’
    • ‘Some develop a measles-like rash and go off their food.’
    • ‘I may have a small steak tartare, but I've gone off food terribly.’
    • ‘At 10 am he felt a bit more shivery and was going off his food.’
    • ‘I've gone off hot chocolate; maybe it's the advent of spring that has dulled my obsession.’
    • ‘I used to be a major Izzard fan, but in the last couple of years I've gone off him big time.’
    • ‘Any change of routine may cause your cat to go off its food.’
  • 4Go to sleep.

    ‘I went off as soon as my head hit the pillow’
    • ‘Once the toddler went off to sleep, the TV and the lights went off too, so it was an early bed for all of us.’
    • ‘But we went off to sleep again as the American warships moved away.’
    • ‘I was standing next to the patient during induction, held his hand, and he went off to sleep.’
    • ‘He let Rich go off to an uneasy sleep and hung up the phone.’
    • ‘Taylor silently made the sign of the cross and went off to sleep.’
    • ‘But we will soon be together again and knowing that I just went off to sleep…’
    • ‘Madi created a fire, which nobody had yet done, and everyone went off to sleep except for the ‘watchers’.’
    • ‘He decides to put the jukebox away and go off to sleep.’
    • ‘Be aware he may cry for a few minutes before going off to sleep.’
    • ‘She felt the girl's grip loosen as she went off to sleep.’