- 1 to leave a place, especially in order to do something She went off to get a drink.
- 2 to be fired; to explode The gun went off by accident. The bomb went off in a crowded street. Synonymsexplodeblow 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 to be destroyed by an explosion; to destroy something by an explosion:A police officer was killed when his 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:That balloon’s going to burst.erupt (of a volcano) to throw out burning rocks and smoke; (of burning rocks and smoke) to be thrown out of a volcano.detonate (rather 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 if an alarm, etc. goes off, it makes a sudden loud noise
- 4 if a light, the electricity, etc. goes off, it stops working Suddenly the lights went off. The heating goes off at night. opposite go on (3)
- 5 (British English, informal) to fall asleep Hasn't the baby gone off yet?
- 6 (British English) if food or drink goes off, it becomes bad and not fit to eat or drink
- 7 (British English) to get worse in quality Her books have gone off in recent years.
- 8 to happen in a particular way The meeting went off well.
(North American English, informal) to suddenly become angry with somebody He just went off on her and started yelling.