hand off(redirected from a hand-off)
1. verb Of the quarterback in football, to hand the ball to another offensive player. A noun or pronoun can be used between "hand" and "off." The quarterback handed the ball off to his teammate, who scored a touchdown.
2. verb To give something to someone else to do or work on. A noun or pronoun can be used between "hand" and "off." You should hand off that boring printing project.
3. noun In football, the act of the quarterback handing the ball to another offensive player. In this usage, the phrase is usually written as one word. That handoff was risky, Joe—what if you'd been sacked?
An instruction for one to refrain from touching or handling (something or someone). (Usually said imperatively.) Hey, hands off those cookies, they're for after dinner! I have every right to be on this property, so hands off, fellas! That television is brand new, so hands off!
hand something off(to someone)
1. Lit. to give a football directly to another player. Roger handed the ball off to Jeff. He handed off the ball. Tim handed it off.
2. Fig. to give something to someone else to do or complete. I'm going to hand this assignment off to Jeff. Don't hand off your dirty work to me—do it yourself!
An order to stop touching or interfering with something, as in Hands off the cake, children! This idiom is also put as keep one's hands off, as in She knew she had to keep her hands off so he could learn to tie his shoes by himself. [Mid-1500s]