be off the hook

(redirected from were off the hook)

be off the hook

1. To be pardoned, vindicated, released, or allowed to avoid blame, responsibility, obligation, or difficulty. At first, Sam was suspected of stealing money from the safe, but he was off the hook after security camera footage showed it was someone else. A: "I thought you had that big work event tonight." B: "No, it got canceled, so I'm off the hook."
2. Of a telephone receiver, to not be positioned on the cradle. That's why you couldn't get through to grandma's house—her phone was off the hook.
3. slang To be very enjoyable or appealing. That band's new song is really off the hook!
See also: hook, off

be off the hook

if a telephone is off the hook, the part that you speak into is not lying in the part that holds it so the telephone will not ring He left the telephone off the hook because he didn't want to be disturbed.
See also: hook, off