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

  • n. Something, such as a decoration, that sets off something else by contrast.
  • n. Something that offsets or compensates for something else; a counterbalance.
  • n. A counterclaim.
  • n. Settlement of a debt by a debtor's establishing such a claim against a creditor.
  • n. Architecture A flat projection, as from a wall; a ledge.
  • n. Printing See offset.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • The bank may have a lien on the entire balance because of so-called setoff rights related to a credit line to MF Global where it acts and agent and lender, the New York-based bank said in a filing. -- Top News

  • "In addition, Carlson seeks a declaratory order that the amount it owes IBM for past services be 'setoff' against any judgment in its favor," the documents state.

    InformationWeek - All Stories And Blogs

  • Whether it be with a g/f or b/f or your parents or children, what is the smallest thing that 'setoff' a huge fight? it wasn't a huge fight but one time a guy i was with wanted to hear a certain song and i didn't wanna hear it. he yelled and then he pulled the car over for a solid 5 minutes until the song was played. hahahaha i thought it was funny of course must mention, there were 2 other people in the car at the time of this fight. awkwwwwwward


  • The most recent players' percentage -- from the 2009 Salary Cap -- was 59.5% of TFR Total Football Revenues, but the percentage came after a $1 billion setoff from the gross revenue number was taken by the NFL for its risk in operating the business.

    Andrew Brandt: NFL Labor Q & A

  • Instead, a waaayy overpriced condo bunker that not only has no setoff, but protrudes over the sidewalk.

    Latest condo fizzle: 38th and Belmont (Jack Bog's Blog)

  • If anything, this setoff an arms race in option grants and now we're about to set off an arms race with respect to retirement benefits and deferred compensation.

    CNN Transcript Jun 4, 2006

  • Also in Egypt authorities say that a fire aboard an Egyptian ferry setoff a string of events that led to it's sinking in the Red Sea.

    CNN Transcript Feb 4, 2006

  • You had the syndicated columnist Robert Novak, who was the one who actually was the first to publish Valerie Plame's name and thereby setoff this huge scandal and ultimately a federal investigation.

    CNN Transcript Oct 1, 2005

  • And that he actually had planned to setoff five bombs on five successive days.

    CNN Transcript Apr 13, 2005

  • That immediately setoff a response from the state law enforcement authorities who first checked out the 46 courtrooms in the state.

    CNN Transcript Dec 2, 2005


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