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from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adv. Without preparation or forethought; extemporaneously.
  • adj. Performed or expressed without preparation or forethought. See Synonyms at extemporaneous.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. without planning or thinking ahead
  • adj. careless; without sufficient thought or consideration
  • adj. curt, abrupt, unfriendly
  • adv. right away, immediately, without thinking about it
  • adv. in an offhand manner

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. forthwith; without delay, hesitation, or difficulty; promptly.
  • prep. See Offhand.
  • adj. Instant; unprepared; ready; extemporaneous; unrehearsed

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • At once; without deliberation or premeditation; without previous preparation or practice.
  • From the hand; without the support of a rest.
  • Without study or premeditation; impromptu: as, an offhand remark; an offhand speech.
  • Free and easy; unstudied or unconventional: as, an offhand manner.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adv. without preparation
  • adv. in a casually inconsiderate manner
  • adj. with little or no preparation or forethought
  • adj. casually thoughtless or inconsiderate
  • adv. without previous thought or preparation


From Middle English *ofhande, *ofhende, from Old English ofhende ("absent, lost"), equivalent to off- +‎ hand. Cognate with Icelandic afhendur. Compare onhand. (Wiktionary)



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