Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia.
throw someone off
to interrupt and confuse someone; to mislead someone. The interruption threw me off, and I lost my place in the speech. Little noises throw me off. Please try to be quiet. Your comment threw me off.
throw (someone or an animal) off (of) somethingand throw someone or an animal off
to divert or confuse someone or an animal away from something, such as the scent, track, or trail. (Of is usually retained before pronouns.) She put a little detail in her story to throw the cops off of her trail. The diversion threw off the investigation.
throw someone or something off (of) somethingand throw someone or something off
to cast someone or something off something. (Of is usually retained before pronouns.) The character in the movie wanted to throw the heroine off a cliff. He went to the middle of the bridge and threw off the gun used in the shooting.
throw something off
1. Lit. to cast something, such as a coat, off one's body. He threw his jacket off and dived into the icy water. He threw off his jacket.
2. Fig. to resist or recover from a disease. It was a bad cold, but I managed to throw it off in a few days. I can't seem to throw off my cold. I've had it for weeks.
3. Fig. to emit or give off an odor. The small animal threw a strong odor off. The flowers threw off a heavy perfume.
throw off somethingalso throw something off
to quickly remove something The boys threw off their clothes and jumped into the lake. Dad threw the cover off and there was a beautiful new bike - just for me!Opposite of: throw on something
1. Cast out, rid oneself of, as in He threw off all unpleasant memories and went to the reunion. [Early 1600s]
2. Give off, emit, as in The garbage was throwing off an awful smell. [First half of 1700s] Also see throw out, def. 1.
3. Also, throw or put off the scent . Distract, divert, or mislead, as in A mistaken estimate threw off her calculations, or These clues were designed to throw the detective off the scent. The variant comes from hunting, where the quarry may try to put pursuing hounds off the scent. Its figurative use dates from the mid-1800s. Also see off the track.
4. Perform in a quick, spontaneous, or casual manner, as in He threw off one sketch after another. [Mid-1700s]
1. To hurl or fling someone or something off with great force or speed: The horse threw the cowboy off. The running back threw off the tackle.
2. To remove some clothing hastily or carelessly: I entered my apartment and threw my coat off. We threw off our jackets in the hallway.
3. To cast something out; rid oneself of something: I threw off all the unpleasant memories of my childhood. We threw our grudges off in order to move on.
4. To give something off; emit something: The exhaust pipes threw off fumes. The chimney throws soot off.
5. To distract, divert, or mislead someone or something: The scent threw off the dogs. A wrong measurement threw her estimate off.
6. To do, finish, or accomplish something in a casual or offhand way; toss something off: I threw off a quick response to the letter I'd received.
7. To stop the operation, activity, or flow of something controlled by a flip switch: After the meeting, I told them to throw off the lights. You can throw the current off the back porch with this switch.