from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Available from merchandise in stock; not custom-made.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. As purchased or as commonly available, without modification or customization.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Made in large quantities and intended to be used without modifications; -- similar to off-the-rack, but not restricted to clothing. Opposite of custom-made, made-to-order, or one-of-a-kind.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. (especially of clothing) made in standard sizes and available from merchandise in stock


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Tyson was asked to give a 5 minute "welcome and hello" and instead gave an off-the-shelf 1 hour talk about how great the museum was.

    Who Should Be The Next Administrator of NASA? - NASA Watch

  • SRBs - Jupiter uses off-the-shelf SRBs from the shuttle.

    Transition Team Update - NASA Watch

  • If feature creep and payload growth make it questionable if your existing off-the-shelf design will work, redesign the architecture, not the LV so that it will work (be willing to move from 1. 5-launch to 2-launch in order to restrict payload growth in any one launch);

    Griffin - No Human Space Flight Review Needed - NASA Watch

  • NSXA would select the technology it needs and, if it is not already available off-the-shelf, contract through proper government bidding processes to the appropriate companies to assemble the tools and infrastructure it needs.

    Would You Bring Back NGLT-or SLI? - NASA Watch

  • Other rifles are prettier, but I'm utilitarian and I think this will exceed my expectations for an off-the-shelf gun.

    Browning vs Savage in 17hmr

  • Dubbing the trend "Generation C" for Content, Trendwatching also noted that "customer-made" goods require much more than off-the-shelf customization.

    Curtis Arnold: Rewards Cards That Do It Your Way

  • NRDC has already outlined how simple barriers, with off-the-shelf technology, can effectively shut down the invasive species threat permanentlywith a reasonable price tag.

    Henry Henderson: The Chicago River Is Broken

  • The ceiling fluorescent lights are an off-the-shelf brand, but they've been installed artfully, with customized attention, flush with the white ceiling.

    A Visitor Center Where Poe Heard a Knocking

  • This was despite the fact that the car was available off-the-shelf in at least 10 major states across the country.

    Saving the Nano

  • The ingenious Mr. Yokoi summed up his engineering philosophy as "lateral thinking of seasoned technology"—that is, avoid expensive hardware and instead use off-the-shelf parts in inventive, original ways.

    Mario's Many Fathers


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