Definition of set-off in US English:

set-off

noun

  • 1An item or amount that is or may be set off against another in the settlement of accounts.

    • ‘Yesterday, he gave a speech to the Economic Club of Washington, in which he said he was ‘open’ to across-the-board budget cuts, and also endorsed finding set-offs to balance hurricane relief spending.’
    • ‘Depending upon the circumstances, they could constitute counterbalancing set-offs of credit and debit amounts.’
    1. 1.1Law A counterbalancing debt pleaded by the defendant in an action to recover money due.
      • ‘If that is right, then the defendants are entitled to rely on their counterclaim as a set-off.’
      • ‘A bond is treated as the equivalent of a bill of exchange or a letter of credit, so that it follows that normally a set-off or counterclaim will not be enough to prevent judgment being given.’
      • ‘Therefore, I find that the defendants have not proven any amount by way of a set-off or counterclaim.’
      • ‘Grant and Deegan have, however, counterclaimed against Lamartine for damages for breach of contract and assert a set-off of the amounts owing to Lamartine.’
      • ‘The defendants allege deficiencies in the plaintiff's work, and non-performance of one item, and claim a set-off against any amount found due to the plaintiff.’
    2. 1.2dated A counterbalancing or compensating circumstance or condition.
      ‘as a set-off against such discussions there had come an improvement in their pecuniary position’
  • 2A step or shoulder at which the thickness of part of a building or machine is reduced.

  • 3Printing
    The unwanted transference of ink from one printed sheet or page to another before it has set.

Pronunciation

set-off

/ˈsedˌôf//ˈsɛdˌɔf/