Standing off

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(Naut.) sailing from the land.

See also: Standing

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by G. & C. Merriam Co.
References in classic literature ?
We - or, rather, they, for I had hardly had two glimpses of salt water in my life till then - kept her standing off and on all that day, while I listened for the first time with the curiosity of my tender years to the song of the wind in a ship's rigging.
“He has been standing off and on in the door-yard for the matter of a glass; and he has summat on his mind that he wants to heave up, d’ye see; but I tells him, says I, man, would you be coming aboard with your complaints, said I, when the judge has gotten his own child, as it were, out of the jaws of a lion?
'Widdy!' is Deputy's shrill response, standing off again.