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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.

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.

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Examples

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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