Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adverb Without preparation or forethought; extemporaneously.
  • adjective Performed or expressed without preparation or forethought.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Without study or premeditation; impromptu: as, an offhand remark; an offhand speech.
  • Free and easy; unstudied or unconventional: as, an offhand manner.
  • At once; without deliberation or premeditation; without previous preparation or practice.
  • From the hand; without the support of a rest.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Instant; unprepared; ready; extemporaneous; unrehearsed

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective without planning or thinking ahead
  • adjective careless; without sufficient thought or consideration
  • adjective curt, abrupt, unfriendly
  • adverb right away, immediately, without thinking about it
  • adverb in an offhand manner

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

  • adverb in a casually inconsiderate manner
  • adjective with little or no preparation or forethought
  • adjective casually thoughtless or inconsiderate
  • adverb without previous thought or preparation
  • adverb without preparation

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English *ofhande, *ofhende, from Old English ofhende ("absent, lost"), equivalent to off- +‎ hand. Cognate with Icelandic afhendur. Compare onhand.

Examples

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