1a consideration or amount that diminishes or balances the effect of an opposite one:widow’s bereavement allowance is an offset against income
2the amount or distance by which something is out of line:these wheels have an offset of four inches
Surveying a short distance measured perpendicularly from the main line of measurement:if it was a simple curve, he was taught the ‘ranging by offsets’ technique
Electronics a small deviation or bias in a voltage or current: [as modifier]:offset adjustment circuits
3a side shoot from a plant serving for propagation:a present of tulip bulbs, offsets, and seeds for his garden
a spur in a mountain range.
4 Architecture a sloping ledge in a wall or other feature where the thickness of the part above is diminished.
5a bend in a pipe to carry it past an obstacle:allow for any bend you need including offsets for connecting the downpipe
6 [mass noun, often as modifier] a method of printing in which ink is transferred from a plate or stone to a uniform rubber surface and from that to the paper:they produced banknotes by offset [as modifier]:offset printing
1 [with object] counteract (something) by having an equal and opposite force or effect:donations to charities can be offset against taxhis unfortunate appearance was offset by a compelling personality
2 [with object] place out of line:several places where the ridge was offset at right angles to its length
3 [no object] (of ink or a freshly printed page) transfer an impression to the next leaf or sheet:there was some offsetting on to text