—n. 1. something that counterbalances, counteracts, or compensates for something else; compensating equivalent.
2. the start, beginning, or outset.
3. a short lateral shoot by which certain plants are propagated.
4. an offshoot or branch of a family or race.
5. any offshoot; branch.
6. Also called offset printing, offset lithography.Lithog. a. a process in which a lithographic stone or metal or paper plate is used to make an inked impression on a rubber blanket that transfers it to the paper being printed, instead of being made directly on the paper.
b. the impression itself.
7. Also called setoff.Print.an unintentional transfer of excess or undried ink from one printed sheet to another.
8. Geol. a. (in faults) the magnitude of displacement between two previously aligned bodies.
b. a spur of a mountain range.
9. Mach.a jog or short displacement in an otherwise straight and continuous line, as in a pipe, lever, or rod, made to avoid objects or to connect with other parts.
10. Archit.setoff (def. 3).
11. Survey. a. a short distance measured perpendicularly from a main survey line.
b. Also called off'set line". a line a short distance from and parallel to a main survey line.
12. Naval Archit.any of the coordinates by which any point on a hull being planned is located.
—adj. 1. of, noting, or pertaining to an offset.
2. Lithog.pertaining to, printed by, or suitable for printing by offset.
3. placed away from a center line; off-center.
4. placed at an angle to something, as to the axis of a form, shape, or object; not parallel.
—v.t. 1. to counterbalance as an equivalent does; compensate for: The gains offset the losses. 2. to juxtapose with something else, as for purposes of comparison: to offset advantages against disadvantages. 3. Print. a. to make an offset of.
b. to print by the process of offset lithography.
4. Archit.to build with a setoff, as a wall.
5. Survey.to establish (a line) parallel to a main survey line at an offset.
—v.i. 1. to project as an offset or branch.
2. to counterbalance or compensate.
3. Print.to make an offset.