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Alternative forms[edit]


From off- +‎ set, used to construct the noun form of the verb to set off. Compare Middle English ofsetten (to encumber, harass, beset, besiege), from Old English ofsettan (to press, oppress, overwhelm, crush).



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. (c. 1555) A time at which something begins; outset.
    • 2017, Nick Johnstone, Ryan Gosling - The Biography:
      Later, Timberlake would tell Playboy that he noticed Ryan's talent from the offset, saying, 'I thought he had charisma that was just beaming, which has turned out to serve him really well as an actor.'
  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. (Can we verify(+) this sense?) 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 (rare) 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.).



offset (comparative more offset, superlative most offset)

  1. Away from or off from the set of a movie, film, video, or play.
    • 2008, Film Review, page 93:
      Offset Riley is romantically involved with Alexandra Maria Lara, who plays lan Curtis's lover Annik Honoré in Control.
    • 2014, Ivan Raykoff, Dreams of Love: Playing the Romantic Pianist, page 82:
      Anita's pianoises are made offset for her by Norma Boleslawski, wife of late, great director Richard Boleslawski.
    • 2018, Frank Henson, Luck of Losing the Toss:
      'Are the pubs open?' When the reply came back that they were indeed open, he would say, 'Then fuck your quarterly,' and rush offset, even though the break wasn't meant for the actors.
    • 2021, Padraic Maroney, It All Began With A Scream:
      Not only did the cast and crew get along on set, that camaraderie continued offset as well.
    • 2022, Stephen Glynn, David Bowie and Film: Hooked to the Silver Screen, page 56:
      For his scenes in alien form Bowie had to spend up to five hours each day in make-up: offset he painted, wrote and read voraciously.


offset (comparative more offset, superlative most offset)

  1. Away from or off from the set of a movie, film, video, or play.
    • 2013, Kathleen A. Tracy, Superstars of the 21st Century, page 134:
      By then, the cast had become good friends and spent all their offset time together.
    • 2021, Kevin Marshall Pinkney, On the Mark:
      This is the principal need for a stand-in. To allow the actor to reset their own performance in a space right offset; which may also include resetting wardrobe and makeup.
    • 2022, Ian Dixon, ‎Brendan Black, I’m Not a Film Star: David Bowie as Actor:
      Offset photos show him absorbed in a biography of acting hero Buster Keaton upon whom Bowie modelled his stone face — 'on which you could read anything'.

See also[edit]



Alternative forms[edit]


offset m (plural offsets)

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