AskDefine | Define offhand

Dictionary Definition

offhand adj
1 with little or no preparation or forethought; "his ad-lib comments showed poor judgment"; "an extemporaneous piano recital"; "an extemporary lecture"; "an extempore skit"; "an impromptu speech"; "offhand excuses"; "trying to sound offhanded and reassuring"; "an off-the-cuff toast"; "a few unrehearsed comments" [syn: ad-lib, extemporaneous, extemporary, extempore, impromptu, offhanded, off-the-cuff, unrehearsed]
2 casually thoughtless or inconsiderate; "an offhand manner"; "she treated most men with offhand contempt" [syn: offhanded] adv
1 without previous thought or preparation; "couldn't give the figures offhand"; "we decided offhand to go to Canada"; "she had made these remarks offhandedly" [syn: offhanded, offhandedly]
2 in a casually inconsiderate manner; "replied offhand, his mind a million miles away"; "she threw him over offhandedly without even a Dear-John letter" [syn: offhanded, offhandedly]off-hand adv : without preparation; "I don't know the figures off-hand" [syn: ex tempore]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Pronunciation

(US) IPA: /ˌɑfˈhænd/

Adjective

offhand
  1. without planning or thinking ahead
    • She gave an offhand speech.
  2. careless; without sufficient thought or consideration
    • He doesn't realise how hurtful his offhand remarks can be.
  3. curt, abrupt, unfriendly
    • She was quite offhand with me yesterday.

Adverb

offhand
  1. right away, immediately, without thinking about it
    • Offhand, I'd guess that that's a yellow-bellied sapsucker.
    • 1854: William Makepeace Thackeray, The Rose and the Ring - We will have no more of this shilly-shallying! Call the Archbishop, and let the Prince and Princess be married offhand!
  2. in an offhand manner

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Bohemian, abrupt, ad lib, ad libitum, ad-lib, affable, airily, airy, aloof, any old way, any which way, anyhow, at short notice, at sight, blase, brusque, bunglingly, by ear, by the by, by the way, careless, carelessly, casual, casually, cavalier, clumsily, cool, cordial, cursorily, cursory, curt, degage, devil-may-care, disregardant, disregardful, disregardfully, distant, easy, easygoing, en famille, en passant, extemporaneous, extemporaneously, extemporarily, extemporary, extempore, familiar, familiarly, flippant, folksy, forgetful, forgetfully, free and easy, glib, gracious, haphazardly, haymish, heedless, heedlessly, helter-skelter, hit and miss, hit or miss, homely, homey, impromptu, improvisatorial, improvise, improvised, improviso, in passing, inattentively, incidentally, inconsiderate, inconsiderately, indifferent, informal, informally, insouciant, irregular, jury-rigged, lackadaisical, lazy, light-hearted, loose, makeshift, messily, natural, naturally, nonchalant, oblivious, off the cuff, off the hip, off-the-cuff, offhanded, offhandedly, on sight, once over lightly, out of hand, parenthetically, perfunctorily, perfunctory, plain, plainly, promiscuously, reckless, recklessly, regardless, regardlessly, relaxed, relaxedly, respectless, sans ceremonie, simple, simply, slapdash, sloppily, smooth, sociable, spur-of-the-moment, stopgap, superficial, superficially, tactless, tactlessly, thoughtless, thoughtlessly, unaffected, unaffectedly, unassuming, unassumingly, unceremonious, unceremoniously, unconcerned, unconstrained, unconstrainedly, unconventional, undiplomatic, ungracious, unguardedly, unheedful, unheedfully, unheeding, unheedingly, uninterested, unmindful, unmindfully, unofficial, unofficially, unpremeditated, unprepared, unready, unrehearsed, unsolicitous, unsolicitously, unstudied, untactful, unthinking, unthinkingly, unvigilantly, unwarily, without ceremony
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