off base

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Prepositional phrase[edit]

off base

  1. (not comparable, US) Situated or happening outside the boundaries of a military base.
  2. (not comparable, baseball, of a baserunner) Positioned somewhere between the bases, and hence vulnerable to being caught out.
    • 1907, Richard Harding Davis, The Congo and Coasts of Africa, ch. 5:
      The hippo heard us, and, like a baseball player caught off base, tried to get back to the river.
  3. (comparable, figuratively, of a person) Mistaken; misguided; somewhat wrong in opinion or judgment.
    • 2007, "The Not-Quite Truth About NYC," Newsweek, 27 Nov.:
      But he's off-base in describing the city as having "record crime" until he took office.
  4. (comparable, figuratively, of an action, belief, idea, etc) Incorrect or inappropriate; not properly executed, envisioned, or understood.
    • 2007, Bruno Maddox, "Blinded By Science Fictional Reality," Discover, 20 July (retrieved 26 Sep 2010):
      Verne had been dead for 64 years by the time of the Apollo 11 mission in 1969 and was thus spared the embarrassment of knowing . . . that part of the rocket would be named “Columbia,” not his own ludicrously off-base suggestion, “Columbiad.”
    • 2010, Kate Pickert, How Health Reform Will Impact Existing Plans," Time, 24 June:
      That partisan rhetoric may be heated, but it's not entirely off base.