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.’’
- ‘In return you will serve the hotel loyally and honestly until your debts are worked off by your hard labour.’
- ‘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.’
2Reduce or eliminate something by work or other activity.‘one of those gimmicks for working off aggression’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Kevin paced the area of the cave grunting, trying to work off his anger.’
- ‘Turn idle time into exercise time, and it really works, works the weight off.’
- ‘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).’
- ‘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.’
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