One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Discharge a debt by working.‘indentured servants working off their parents' debts’
- ‘The barrister continued: ‘It was the dealer's suggestion he work the debt off by helping in the care of the cannabis plants.’’
- ‘The events ahead are impossible to predict precisely, but historic debt levels are not worked off in a few years, especially when the debt is accelerating.’
- ‘In return you will serve the hotel loyally and honestly until your debts are worked off by your hard labour.’
2Reduce or eliminate something by work or other activity.‘one of those gimmicks for working off aggression’
- ‘Turn idle time into exercise time, and it really works, works the weight off.’
- ‘I wished that I'd brought my gym things to get some time in at the gym during my lunch break, work off some of my frustration and unknown feelings.’
- ‘Kevin paced the area of the cave grunting, trying to work off his anger.’
- ‘Corman set neophytes to work off their baby fat on projects like Battle Beyond the Sun (Coppola) and Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women (Bogdanovich).’
- ‘The cartoonish characters and the self-indulgent venting made you think the author was using his art to work off private resentments both old and new.’
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