What does the idiom "off the point" mean?

Although the meanings of the words in them do not make any sense when examined one by one, the word groups that are shaped according to the cultural roots of the language and that make sense as a whole are called idioms. off the point meaning, in what situations is it used?

Meaning of "off the point"


The phrase “off the point” is an idiom used to indicate that something is irrelevant and not related to the topic at hand. It is used to criticize someone for straying away from the discussion topic. Therefore, when someone is “off the point,” they are not discussing the relevant issues.


The phrase “off the point” has its origins in the late 17th century and is derived from the Latin term “punctum” or “point.” In its literal form, the phrase meant “a point removed or taken away.” Later, it was used metaphorically to refer to an argument or discussion that strayed from its original purpose. The phrase was widely used by the beginning of the 19th century, with the earliest written record of the phrase being found in 1823.


The phrase “off the point” is used to indicate that someone is straying away from the relevant topic during a discussion or argument. This phrase is used in informal settings, and is most often used when people want to express their disapproval of the direction of the conversation. It is also often used to redirect the conversation back to the original discussion topic.

Example Sentences

  • “Can we please stay on topic? We’re getting off the point here.”
  • “I think you’re getting off the point. Let’s get back to the issue at hand.”
  • “I understand what you’re trying to say, but it’s a bit off the point.”
  • “You’re getting off the point here. Can we please stay focused on what we’re discussing?”

The meanings of the words in the "off the point" idiom

The Global Spread of English Idioms

As English has become a global language, its idioms have spread far beyond the borders of the UK and USA. For instance, the idiom "beat around the bush" has equivalents in many other languages, such as "tourner autour du pot" in French and "dar vueltas al asunto" in Spanish. Meanwhile, other idioms have been adapted for local contexts, such as the Russian idiom "?? ???? ???????" (ne svoya rubashka), which translates to "not one's own shirt," meaning to be in an uncomfortable or unfamiliar situation.


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