What does the idiom "in the offing" mean?

Idioms are generally defined as groups of words that form a meaningful whole when they come together, even though the words in them do not make sense on their own. They have produced many idioms according to their own cultural characteristics in communities using the English language. What does in the offing mean? In what situations is in the offing used?

Meaning of "in the offing"


The phrase 'in the offing' is used in English to refer to something that is expected to happen soon. It suggests that the event or situation is near in both time and space. In other words, it is something that is close and about to happen, or already in the process of taking place.


The origin of this phrase is uncertain. It has been suggested that it is derived from the Middle Dutch phrase 'in de offing', which translates to 'in the sight'. This phrase was likely used to describe a situation that was visible due to its proximity. Over time, this phrase has been adopted into English as 'in the offing' and is used in the same sense.


The phrase 'in the offing' is typically used in conversation and written language to refer to something that is expected to take place soon. It implies a short time frame and suggests that the thing in question is close or already in the process of happening. This phrase can be used in both positive and negative contexts, depending on the situation.

Example Sentences

  • We can expect good news in the offing.
  • I'm afraid there's trouble in the offing.
  • Their fifth album is in the offing.
  • A promotion might be in the offing for you.

The meanings of the words in the "in the offing" idiom

Idioms have a common language

"The early bird catches the worm" is an English idiom that means that those who wake up early and start their day early are more likely to succeed. A similar idiom in Spanish is "El que madruga, Dios le ayuda," which translates to "God helps those who rise early." This idiom emphasizes the importance of starting the day early in order to achieve success.


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