Leave, depart, as in I’m off to the races; wish me luck. This phrase, first recorded in 1826, was once commonly used as an imperative, meaning “go away”—as in Be off or I’ll call the police—but today is rare in this context.
Be in poor condition; be stale or spoiled; not work properly. For example, This milk must be off; it tastes sour, or The kitchen clock is off by at least five minutes. [ Early 1990s ]
Be free from work, school, or some other regular occupation, as in The secretary is off today, but perhaps I can find it. [ Mid-1800s ]
Decline, as in The industrial stocks are off 50 points today. This usage, nearly always applied to securities or other prices, was first recorded in 1929, the year of the great stock market crash.
- Be of service
an act of helpful activity; help; aid: to do someone a service. the supplying or supplier of utilities or commodities, as water, electricity, or gas, required or demanded by the public. the providing or a provider of accommodation and activities required by the public, as maintenance, repair, etc.: The manufacturer guarantees service and parts. the […]
- Be on
Be taking medication or an illegal drug, as in Are you on some antibiotic? or He was definitely on narcotics when it happened. [ 1930s ] Be in favor of something or willing to participate, as in We’re going dancing after the play—are you on? [ ; late 1800s ] Be engaged in some action, […]
- Be on it
be on it verb phrase To be prepared to act; to act on something promptly: I’m on it, boss
an instance of the occurrence, existence, etc., of something: Sailing in such a storm was a case of poor judgment. the actual state of things: That is not the case. a question or problem of moral conduct; matter: a case of conscience. situation; circumstance; plight: Mine is a sad case. a person or thing whose […]