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From off- +‎ set, used to construct the noun form of the verb to set off.


  • Noun:
    • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈɒf.sɛt/
    • (file)
    • (US) IPA(key): /ˈɑf.sɛt/
  • Verb:


offset (plural offsets)

  1. Anything that acts as counterbalance; a compensating equivalent.
    Today's victory was an offset to yesterday's defeat.
  2. (international trade) A form of countertrade arrangement, in which the seller agrees to purchase within a set time frame products of a certain value from the buying country. This kind of agreement may be used in large international public sector contracts such as arms sales.
  3. (obsolete, c. 1555) A time at which something begins; outset.
  4. (printing, often attributive) The offset printing process, in which ink is carried from a metal plate to a rubber blanket and from there to the printing surface.
    offset lithographs
    offset process
  5. (programming) The difference between a target memory address and a base address.
    An array of bytes uses its index as the offset, of words a multiple thereof.
  6. (signal analysis) The displacement between the base level of a measurement and the signal's real base level.
    The raw signal data was subjected to a baseline correction process to subtract the sensor's offset and drift variations.
  7. The distance by which one thing is out of alignment with another.
    There is a small offset between the switch and the indicator which some users found confusing.
  8. (surveying) A short distance measured at right angles from a line actually run to some point in an irregular boundary, or to some object.
  9. An abrupt bend in an object, such as a rod, by which one part is turned aside out of line, but nearly parallel, with the rest; the part thus bent aside.
  10. (botany) A short prostrate shoot that takes root and produces a tuft of leaves, etc.
    • 2014 September 26, Charles Quest-Ritson, “The Dutch garden where tulip bulbs live forever: Hortus Bulborum, a volunteer-run Dutch garden, is dedicated to conserving historic varieties before they vanish for good [print version: Inspired by a living bulb archive, 27 September 2014, p. G5]”, in The Daily Telegraph (Gardening)[1]:
      [] [I]nfected tulips are weakened by the viruses that cause the very patterns and swirls that fascinated horticulturists and investors in the first place. Such bulbs tend to dwindle away instead of fattening up and producing offsets.
  11. A spur from a range of hills or mountains.
  12. (architecture) A horizontal ledge on the face of a wall, formed by a diminution of its thickness, or by the weathering or upper surface of a part built out from it; a set-off.
  13. (architecture) A terrace on a hillside.
  14. away from or off from the general locations and area where a movie’s, a film‘s, or a video’s scenery is arranged to be filmed or from those places for actors, assorted crew, director, producers which are typically not filmed.



offset (third-person singular simple present offsets, present participle offsetting, simple past and past participle offset or offsetted)

  1. (transitive) To counteract or compensate for, by applying a change in the opposite direction.
    I'll offset the time difference locally.
    to offset one charge against another
    • 1960 February, R. C. Riley, “The London-Birmingham services - Past, Present and Future”, in Trains Illustrated, page 103:
      In order to gain first-hand experience of the operation of the new services I made a footplate journey on the only down two-hour train in the current timetable, the 8.30 a.m. Paddington [to Birmingham], a new express put on to offset the withdrawal of the 8.40 a.m. from Euston.
    • 1962 April, “Motive power miscellany: Western Region”, in Modern Railways, page 280:
      The maroon livery of D1001 is offset, not only by yellow buffer beams and "aprons", but by white-painted cab window frames.
    • 2017 October 2, Jess Cartner-Morle, “Stella McCartney lays waste to disposable fashion in Paris”, in the Guardian[2]:
      The company said its rising production and sales were largely offset by reductions in the impact of raw material use, for instance by replacing virgin cashmere fibres with regenerated cashmere that had previously been considered a waste material.
  2. (transitive) To place out of line.
  3. (transitive) To form an offset in (a wall, rod, pipe, etc.).


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Alternative forms[edit]


offset m (plural offsets)

  1. (programming) offset (byte difference between memory addresses)
  2. (printing) offset (a printing method)