Definition of offhand in US English:



  • Ungraciously or offensively nonchalant or cool in manner.

    ‘his offhand way of talking’
    • ‘Now, you can do this in an offhand manner, casually noting results, but you'll be much further ahead if you do it somewhat scientifically.’
    • ‘‘This is too important and fundamental a problem to be simply dismissed in this offhand way by the Minister,’ said Dr Cowley.’
    • ‘He'd said it in such an offhand and nonchalant manner, though, that I decided to let it drop.’
    • ‘The level will obviously be slight if it's just some offhand teasing among casual acquaintances.’
    • ‘As with O'Reilly, offhand dismissal of critics is not a good practice for any business, organization, group, or individual.’
    • ‘Let him patronise his overpriced London restaurants with their indifferent offerings and offhand service.’
    • ‘But even in the tiniest detail, in apparently offhand remarks, there is a sense of his determination to confine himself to a list of terse, pre-scripted lines.’
    • ‘His offhand remark may be closer to the truth if discount business class catches on.’
    • ‘For all the outward signs of casualness, these works are not quite as offhand as they might seem to be at first.’
    • ‘I learned it from someone who formerly worked in the government and he mentioned it in an offhand manner, leading me to infer it was something that insiders were well aware of.’
    • ‘‘The NRA should understand that we are not second class citizens and will not stand for this offhand treatment,’ he concluded.’
    • ‘The woman who, about half hour ago had been hard, stern and rather austere was now so offhand and casual that Miette suspected a stand-in had been found while she napped.’
    • ‘‘Yes,’ Riggs replied in an offhand manner, sitting obediently, and crossing his legs in front of him.’
    • ‘The weirdest thing is that people always make these offhand comments as if I know exactly what they're talking about, as if everyone knows.’
    • ‘No screenings were used to stimulate this activity, as it was crucial to discover the offhand references subjects would make to justify their choices.’
    • ‘But Johar has an offhand, stylish way of doing it.’
    • ‘At that point and on your show I didn't know what that meant at all because it was such a casual offhand remark.’
    • ‘I follow and offer refreshment, which is once more declined, though this time the Italian's manner is not offhand, but solicitous and somewhat grave.’
    • ‘She probably doesn't even realize her offhand remarks are offensive to you.’
    • ‘‘They were quite abrupt and offhand,’ says Elliot, who is now 39.’
    indifferent, casual, careless, uninterested, unconcerned, cool, distant, aloof, nonchalant, blasé, insouciant, offhanded, cavalier, glib, perfunctory, cursory, unceremonious, ungracious, curt, abrupt, terse, brusque, dismissive, discourteous, uncivil, impolite, rude
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  • Without previous thought or consideration.

    ‘I can't think of a better answer offhand’
    • ‘I know of no good way to explain the divisions and/or contrasts offhand.’
    • ‘I read a great deal, but I can't really pick a landmark book offhand.’
    • ‘And I don't recall right offhand what exactly that was.’
    • ‘I don't offhand dismiss speculation that this is all a neoconservative plot to privatize Iraqi art.’
    • ‘It would be difficult to think, offhand, of a simple explanation of why a young woman, a total stranger, wearing only a nightdress, rang our doorbell at 7.45 in the morning.’
    • ‘I can't think of anyone offhand I would specifically not want to hear from, though if I really gave it some thought there might be one or two.’
    • ‘What makes you think women can just remember dates offhand this way?’
    • ‘His initial reaction was to declare that he could not issue letters offhand and would have to verify what actually took place.’
    • ‘I've seen worse documents, I suppose, but it's hard to think of one offhand.’
    • ‘I know there are more, but I can't think of them offhand.’
    • ‘I can't cite references offhand, but she's excellent.’
    • ‘I'm sure there must be a reason why Dean's comment is different, but offhand I can't think what it is.’
    • ‘The only other soup lyric I can think of offhand is the Lewis Carroll lyric ‘Beautiful Soup.’’
    • ‘I couldn't think offhand of a creative use for this thing, a non-business use, but maybe with some pondering…’
    • ‘I'm not sure, but offhand it seems to fulfill the criteria of the definitions offered by Bennett.’
    • ‘We do tend to dismiss offhand such phenomena as human artifacts, and because of good theoretical and inductive preconceptions.’
    • ‘I don't recall offhand the names of any of the other sources.’
    • ‘Gatsby replies offhand that Meyer is a gambler and is the man who fixed the World Series in 1919.’
    • ‘Let me open up the category of muddling through, and there are two or three different ways offhand, of doing that.’
    • ‘I can't remember the name of the actress who played Nan offhand and don't have time to look it up.’
    without preparation, on the spur of the moment, without consideration, without checking, extempore, impromptu, ad lib
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