call off

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call off

1. To cancel a project, event, or activity. A noun or pronoun can be used between "call" and "off" or after "off." Stop all printing—the boss has called off this project! I was supposed to go out tonight, but Marisa is sick and called off our dinner. The coach called football practice off because of the rain.
2. To stop or restrain a person or animal that is behaving aggressively. A noun or pronoun can be used between "call" and "off" or after "off." Can you please call off your mother so she stops interrogating me? I'll tell you anything you want to know, just call off your dogs!
See also: call, off

call someone (or an animal) off someone or something

 and call someone or an animal off
to request that someone or an animal stop bothering or pursuing someone or something; to call a halt to an attack by someone or an animal. Please call your dogs off my brother. Call off your spying on me, or else!
See also: call, off

call something off

to cancel an event. It's too late to call the party off. The first guests have already arrived. Because of rain, they called off the baseball game.
See also: call, off

call off

1. Summon away, restrain, as in Please call off your dog. [Early 1600s]
2. Cancel some plan or undertaking, as in She decided to call off their engagement, or In case of rain the picnic will be called off. [Late 1800s]
See also: call, off

call off

v.
1. To cancel or postpone something: We called off the trip when two of people who were supposed to go became sick. The union called the strike off after the management gave in to their demands.
2. To order someone or something to stop attacking or aggressing: The police called off the dogs after the suspect surrendered. The commander called his troops off when the enemy retreated.
See also: call, off
References in classic literature ?
Before I could call him off he had crushed Lakor into a jelly with a single blow of one mighty paw, and had literally torn the other thern to ribbons; yet when I spoke to him sharply he cowed sheepishly as though he had done a thing to deserve censure and chastisement.
There's that girl in the canoe again," said Flambeau irrelevantly, for good-looking young women would call him off any topic.