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To ask to be excused from an obligation or invitation. A noun can be used between "beg" and "off." She had to beg off that project when she realized that it interfered with her normal duties. I begged the dinner party off last night because I was feeling ill.
beg something off
to decline an invitation politely. She begged the trip to the zoo off. We all begged off the dinner invitation.
beg off (on something)
to ask to be released from something; to refuse an invitation. I'm sorry, but I'll be out of town on the day of your party. I'll have to beg off on your invitation. I have an important meeting, so I'll have to beg off.
Ask to be released from an obligation; turn down an invitation. For example, He's asked me out to dinner three times already, but I have to beg off again, or Mother couldn't take on another committee and so she begged off. [Early 1700s]
To excuse oneself from something, such as an obligation: We were invited to stay for dinner, but we had to beg off.