Larry's Pretty Good Word of the Day (prettygoodword) wrote in 1word1day,
Larry's Pretty Good Word of the Day


offing (AW-fing, OF-ing) - n., the more distant part of the sea visible from shore but beyond a ship's anchorage; a position at distance from the shore; (idiom) "in the offing," in the projected future.

Anywhere from the horizon in to where the water's color changes because the bottom is visible. This of course started as a nautical term, and staying in the offing is important for navigational purposes. In this sense, it is first attested in 1627, coming from off-shore -- the modern idiom of the likely near future is from 1914. Incidentally, off itself is a derivative of the preposition of, in the sense of away from, not fully established as a separate word until Late Middle English.

The shore was quiet at dawn, with a couple jogging along the beach and a single trawler slowly chugging to windward in the offing.

Tags: english, noun, o

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