One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
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.’
- 1.1Law 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.’
- 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.
The unwanted transference of ink from one printed sheet or page to another before it has set.
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