American English

Definition of go off phrasal verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary


go off

 phrasal verb
phrasal verb
jump to other results
Phrasal Verbs
  1. 1to leave a place, especially in order to do something She went off to get a drink.
  2. 2to be fired; to explode The gun went off by accident. The bomb went off in a crowded street. Thesaurusexplodeblow up go off burst erupt detonateThese are all words that can be used when something bursts apart violently, causing damage or injury.explode to burst loudly and violently, causing damage; to make something burst in this way:The jet smashed into a hillside and exploded. The bomb was exploded under controlled conditions.blow (something) up (somewhat informal) to be destroyed by an explosion; to destroy something by an explosion:A police officer was killed when her car blew up.go off (of a bomb) to explode; (of a gun) to be fired:The bomb went off in a crowded street. When used about guns, the choice of go off (instead of “be fired”) can suggest that the gun was fired by accident.burst to break open or apart, especially because of pressure from inside; to make something break in this way:A water pipe burst and flooded the kitchen.erupt (of a volcano) to throw out burning rocks and smoke; (of burning rocks and smoke) to be thrown out of a volcano:Mount St. Helens erupted in 1980.detonate (somewhat formal) (of a bomb) to explode; to make a bomb explode:Two other bombs failed to detonate.Patterns a bomb explodes/blows up/goes off/bursts/detonates a car/plane/vehicle explodes/blows up a firework/rocket explodes/goes off
  3. 3if an alarm, etc. goes off, it makes a sudden loud noise
  4. 4if a light, the electricity, etc. goes off, it stops working Suddenly the lights went off. The heat goes off at night. opposite go on
  5. 5to happen in a particular way The meeting went off well.

go off (on somebody)

jump to other results
to suddenly become angry with someone He suddenly went off and started yelling.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: go off