The adjective offhand describes a remark or comment that is made without previous thought or preparation. If you are at a wedding, you may want to make a few offhand but nice remarks about the newlyweds.

As an adjective, offhand can mean careless, brusque, or inconsiderate. You may frequently have to remind young children that offhand comments about people's looks or intelligence can hurt their feelings. Offhand can also be used as an adverb, meaning without thought or planning. You may not be able to say offhand, but do you have any idea how many people are in your class at school?

Definitions of offhand

adj with little or no preparation or forethought

offhand excuses”
ad-lib, extemporaneous, extemporary, extempore, impromptu, off-the-cuff, offhanded, unrehearsed
without preparation; not prepared for

adj casually thoughtless or inconsiderate

“an offhand manner”
“she treated most men with offhand contempt”
marked by lack of attention or consideration or forethought or thoroughness; not careful

adv without previous thought or preparation

“couldn't give the figures offhand
“we decided offhand to go to Canada”
offhanded, offhandedly

adv in a casually inconsiderate manner

“replied offhand, his mind a million miles away”
offhanded, offhandedly

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