off the grid

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off the grid

  1. (of a home, business, or the occupants thereof) Not using electricity from the public electrical supply system.
  2. Not connected to a publicly available communication system, such as the World Wide Web or a mobile telephone network.
    • 2009, J. Gale Morrison, We Were the Zonks!, →ISBN, page 263:
      He has no desire to be found. His place was off the grid. The cabin had no television, phone, or computer.
  3. (idiomatic) Isolated; in a remote location; in seclusion; not participating in some official process or system.
    • 2008 May 4, Julia Chaplin, “Riding the Waves of Peru”, in New York Times, retrieved 6 December 2011:
      The beach looked like a small swatch of an industrial wasteland. . . . He had promised me a crowd-free break that was off the grid, and here it was.
    • 2011, James Knapp, Element Zero[1], Penguin, →ISBN:
      They were off the grid—no IDs, no homes, no names, nothing.



off the grid

  1. In or into a situation or place in which electricity from the public electricity system is not used.
    • 2010 March 11, Reihan Salam, “The Dropout Economy”, in Time:
      Imagine a future in which millions of families live off the grid, powering their homes and vehicles with dirt-cheap portable fuel cells.
    • 2011 July 22, Patrick McGeehan, “Energy Use Soars in City Under Grip of Scorcher”, in New York Times, retrieved 6 December 2011:
      Those city properties did not go completely off the grid, but they sharply reduced the amount of power they drew from it, he said.
  2. (idiomatic) In or into a clandestine or isolated situation or place, especially one in which public communication is curtailed.
    • 2007 August 23, Lev Grossman, “Nerd World: Why Facebook Is the Future”, in Time:
      If you're annoying folks, you'll essentially cease to exist, as those you annoy drop you off the grid.
    • 2011 January 28, Matt Richtel, “Egypt Cuts Off Most Internet and Cell Service”, in New York Times, retrieved 6 December 2011:
      [T]he government of a country with 80 million people and a modernizing economy cut off nearly all access to the network and shut down cellphone service. . . . Egypt, to an unprecedented extent, pulled itself off the grid.
  3. (idiomatic) Secretly; in a clandestine manner.
    • 2011 February 17, Larry Rohter, “Indie Films From a Land Short on Independence”, in New York Times, retrieved 6 December 2011:
      “You have to have an awful lot of energy and passion to make films with no funding and no prospect of having them seen in public in your home country except under the radar and off the grid,” said Sally Berger, the curator of the festival, who visited China last fall.