call off(redirected from call or an animal 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!
call someone (or an animal) off someone or somethingand 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!
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.
call off somethingalso call something off
to decide not to do something that was planned Why should I call off the trip when I've already paid for it?
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]
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.