Less Well Known Phrasal Verbs with OFF

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  • Post last modified:22/04/2023
  • Post category:Phrasal Verbs
  • Reading time:12 mins read

Here are I have 13 English phrasal verbs with OFF for you. Most people when looking at such phrasal verbs with OFF will give the more common forms as examples such as:

  • break off – to end
  • tear off – to rip
  • switch off – to turn off something (light, for example)

Therefore I thought I might look at a few less well-known phrasal verbs using the preposition OFF with some examples.

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List of Phrasal Verbs

Phrasal Verbs with OFF

shake off something meaning - video lesson

Learning phrasal verbs is an essential part of improving your English vocabulary, especially for students who are preparing for language proficiency exams like IELTS and TOEFL.

Among the many phrasal verbs, those with the preposition “off” can be particularly challenging to master, as they can have a variety of meanings and uses.

However, mastering these phrasal verbs can greatly improve one’s English speaking skills and ability to communicate effectively.

In this lesson, we will explore some common phrasal verbs with “off” and provide examples of how they are used in context, with the aim of helping English language learners expand their vocabulary and become more confident speakers.

Phrasal Verbs with OFF

Learn phrasal verbs with off. Improve English speaking skills. Upgrade your vocabulary. English grammar rules. Improve English speaking. Advanced English lessons on Zoom and Skype. Improve English speaking and writing skills. #learnenglish

cut off

Literally to cut off means to take a knife or scissors and cut a piece of meat or cloth or material from an article.


He cut a piece of meat off and gave it to the dog.

However, to be cut off can also have other meanings.

to be cut off – to have no access in or out, to be disconnected


Heavy rains caused the river to quickly overflow its banks and 2 local villages have been cut off. 

to cut someone off

Meaning: to prevent someone from receiving something


Joe had an argument with his father. The father threatened to cut him off without a penny unless Joe agrees to do as he requests.

pass off

Meaning: to pretend or deceive someone into thinking something is true when it is not


Sarah was desperate for money. She advertised her fake bag online hoping she could pass it off as the real thing.

break off

Meaning: to end a relationship or agreement


Have you heard the news? Sarah broke off her relationship with Peter last week.

come off

Meaning: to succeed, to work out


Despite all their efforts, the deal didn’t come off.

The concert came off without a hitch, and the audience was thrilled with the performers’ talent and energy.

back off

Meaning: to move away from someone or something, or to stop doing something that is annoying or causing problems


I wish my boss would back off and let me work in peace.

shake off

Meaning: to get rid of something that is unwanted, such as a bad habit or a feeling


I can’t seem to shake off this cold that I’ve had for weeks.

Less Well-Known Phrasal Verbs with OFF

stop off

Meaning: to make a short break in a journey


We stopped off at an old castle for some site seeing. 

start off

Meaning: to cause something to begin


Well done to our U12 boys who started off the season with a super win over ABC United. 

finish off (with)

Meaning: to destroy, to kill someone or to complete something


It was a great meal, we finished off with coffee and mints.

brush off

Meaning: to dismiss or ignore something or someone, often in a rude or condescending way


The teacher brushed off my question and didn’t give me a clear answer.

rip off

Meaning: to cheat or overcharge someone, usually in a transaction or a deal


I felt like I got ripped off when I bought this expensive sweater that fell apart after one wash.

Learn phrasal verbs with off. Improve English speaking skills. Upgrade your vocabulary. English grammar rules. Improve English speaking. Advanced English lessons on Zoom and Skype. Improve English speaking and writing skills. #learnenglish

bounce off something

Meaning: to discuss something (idea, plan) with somebody in order to get their opinion


I just want to bounce this off you before I proceed.

bounce off something meaning - video lesson

give off

Meaning: to emit, to produce a smell, heat, fumes, etc


There was some food inside the microwave that gave off a terrible smell.

palm off

Meaning: to dismiss someone’s questions with non-committal or untrue answers


Peter thinks he can palm me off with any excuse, but he’s wrong. I want to know the truth.

cry off

Meaning: to cancel or back out of a commitment or agreement, often at the last minute, usually because of illness or other personal reasons.


Jane had to cry off the dinner party at the last minute because she came down with the flu.

pay off

Meaning: to yield a positive result or reward, often after hard work or effort


All of the studying and preparation paid off when she received a high score on her exam.

Less Well-Known Phrasal Verbs with OFF

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make off with

This is often used to describe a situation where a robbery takes place and the robbers or thieves run away with whatever they had targeted.


The robbers spent 2 days over the weekend tunnelling (digging) under the bank. They got into the safe without much difficulty and took a lot of cash and other valuables with them. The police estimated that they had made off with over $1m. !

head off

1. If we decide to go away for a few days or on a longer holiday we can use this phrasal verb to let people know what we are doing.


I am going to head off for a few days to England.

2. We can also use it in more general terms to indicate we are going to leave somewhere.


I think I will head off home now, I am tired.

3. Finally, it can also be used to try to block someone from progressing with an idea or a plan.


I do not like the boss’s idea to expand the business so quickly. “Don’t worry” – his colleague says. “I will talk to him tomorrow and try to head him off (change his mind) before he goes too far”.

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Phrasal Verbs with OFF

back off meaning - video lesson

More Information

As you probably already know, phrasal verbs are mostly used in spoken English. One of the ways to improve your speaking skills in English is to learn commonly used phrasal verbs. Unfortunately, there are no tips to learn phrasal verbs easily. However, I hope some of my other posts will make learning a little bit easier for you.

Phrasal Verbs with BRING

Phrasal Verbs with FALL and their meanings

You can always study English advanced level at Learning English with the BBC and British Council Learn English.

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