Etymology
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off-shore (adv., adj.)

also offshore, 1720, "in a direction away from the shore," from off (prep.) + shore (n.). As an adjective in 19c., "carried on more than three miles from shore." American English use for "other than the U.S." is from 1948 and the Marshall Plan.

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off-site (adj.)

"occurring away from a site," 1956, from off (prep.) + site (n.).

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off-chance (n.)

"a remote chance," 1861, from off (prep.) + chance (n.).

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off-street (adj.)

1929, in reference to automobile parking, "not on a public street," from off (prep.) + street.

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off-and-on (adv.)

"intermittently, occasionally," 1530s; see off (adv.) + on. As an adjective, "occasional," from 1580s.

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cast-off (adj.)

1709, "put aside, rejected," from verbal phrase cast off "discard, reject" (c. 1400), from cast (v.) + off (adv.). From 1741 as a noun, "person or thing abandoned as worthless or useless." Related" Cast-offs.

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lead-off (n.)

"commencement, beginning," 1879, from verbal phrase (attested from 1806); see lead (v.1) + off (adv.).

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off-hand (adv.)

also offhand, 1690s, "at once, straightway," from off (prep.) + hand (n.). Probably originally in reference to shooting "from the hand," without a rest or support. Hence, of speech or action, "without deliberation, unpremeditated" (1719). Related: Off-handed; off-handedly.

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off-limits (adj.)

"forbidden, outside the limits within which a particular group or person must remain," by 1881, U.S. military academies jargon, from off (prep.) + limit (n.). Earlier (1857) it was applied to cadets, etc., who were in violation of the limitations on their movement and behavior.

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off-line (adj.)

1926, of railroads, "not done on a railway;" 1950, in computing, "not controlled by or connected to a computer or network;" from off (prep.) + line (n.).

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