Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
1. An agent, element, or thing that balances, counteracts, or compensates for something else.
2. One thing set off or developed from something else.
3. The start or initial stage; the outset.
4. Architecture A ledge or recess in a wall formed by a reduction in thickness above; a setoff.
5. Botany A shoot that develops laterally at the base of a plant, often rooting to form a new plant.
6. Geology A spur of a mountain range or hills.
7. A bend in a pipe, bar, or other straight continuous piece made to allow it to pass around an obstruction.
8. A short distance measured perpendicularly from the main line in surveying, used to help in calculating the area of an irregular plot.
9. A descendant of a race or family; an offshoot.
a. An unintentional or faulty transfer of wet ink from a printed sheet to another surface in contact with it. Also called setoff.
b. Offset printing.
v. (ôf′sĕt′, ŏf′-, ôf-sĕt′, ŏf-) off·set, off·set·ting, off·sets
1. To counterbalance, counteract, or compensate for: fringe benefits designed to offset low salaries.
a. To cause (printed matter) to transfer or smear onto another surface.
b. To produce by offset printing.
3. To make or form an offset in (a wall, bar, or pipe).
1. To develop, project, or be situated as an offset.
2. Printing To become marked by or cause an unintentional transfer of ink.
off′set′ adv. & adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.