call off

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call 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!
See also: call, off

call someone (or an animal) off someone or something

 and 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!
See also: call, off

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.
See also: call, off

call off

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]
See also: call, off

call off

v.
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.
See also: call, off
References in classic literature ?
These things, and the approach of night, called us off, or else, as Friday would have had us, we should certainly have taken the skin of this monstrous creature off, which was worth saving; but we had near three leagues to go, and our guide hastened us; so we left him, and went forward on our journey.
They called us for assistance and before we even got there, they called us off and said they were all set.
McIlroy said: "I don't think they should have called us off the golf course.
It was tough to come back out but I don't think they should have called us off the course in the first place.
I'm here for the weekend, so it's not all bad, but I don't think they should have called us off the golf course.
He also called us off a whole bunch of decent bears, saying calmly that they were still four to five years old, would have skulls in the 18-inch class and needed to grow for a couple more years.
Tom was addressing his ball when they called us off the course, even though the rain hadn't started by then.