In the offing

  • Something that is in the offing is likely to happen soon. The idiom comes from a scarcely used sense of offing, a noun referring to the distant but visible area of the sea beyond the anchoring ground. So something in the offing is within sight but distant.


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    In the offing is sometimes used to mean in progress or planned. These are outside the idiom’s traditional meaning, but idioms’ meanings often expand.



    And a San Antonio lawmaker warned that a lawsuit is in the offing after the House approved a Republican-drawn redistricting plan for the next decade. [Houston Chronicle]

    Other companies have disclosed similar probes and experts believe more settlements are in the offing. [Sydney Morning Herald]

    Frozen in place for decades, the Arab world is thawing, with big change in the offing. [Los Angeles Times]

    Blackpool are one clear of the relegation zone, with a run of winnable home games in the offing for them. [Telgraph]


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