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From Middle English ofstonden, from Old English ofstandan (to remain, persist, continue; restore, make restitution), from Proto-Germanic *afstandaną, *afstāną, equivalent to off- +‎ stand. Cognate with Dutch afstaan (to cede, yield, relinquish), German abstehen (to project, stick out, stand away), Swedish avstå (to refrain, desist, give up, relinquish).


offstand (third-person singular simple present offstands, present participle offstanding, simple past and past participle offstood)

  1. (transitive) To endure against; stand or ward off; defend against; withstand; resist.
    • 1919, Roy Franklin Barton, Ifugao economics: Volume 15, Issues 1-5:
      Those who are involved in long enmities sacrifice continually to the hidit in order to offstand such affliction.
    • 1983, Henry Charlton Beck, Forgotten Towns of Southern New Jersey:
      [] announced in its issue of October tenth that New Jersey's Governor, Livingston, had received word of the intended attack and was planning measures to offstand it.
    • 2001, Paulina Ann Batterson, Columbia College:
      [] and hope to build with such permanency and force as to offstand the headwaters which will surely come again.
    • 2003, Johnston McCulley, The Mark of Zorro:
      "His excellency is wise not to waste breath renewing it. He grows fat, and his breath is short" "What can you expect to gain by resistance, save death?" Gonzales asked. "How can you hope to offstand a score and a half of us?
  2. (transitive) To offset; compensate for; make restitution for.
    • 1886, The Current: politics, literature, science and art: Volume 6:
      To offstand the dire effects of its hoarding policy, the Secretary, from March 4, 1885, began lending money to the national banks — that is he deposited it in those institutions.
    • 1913, The Bookman: a review of books and life: Volume 36:
      Smith paid seven thousand pounds for the copyright, though it was not a financial success ; George Eliot, in fact, afterward gave a short story, "Brother Jacob," to offstand the publisher's loss.


offstand (uncountable)

  1. Offset; restitution.
    • 1886, Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons, House of Commons papers: Volume 6:
      [] but there is partially in a few instances where the person has two-thirds of the away-going crop, and where he has that two-thirds, generally their agreement is that they do not pay any offstand; they have it clear.