use-icon

HOW TO USE THE DICTIONARY

To look up an entry in The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, use the search window above. For best results, after typing in the word, click on the “Search” button instead of using the “enter” key.

Some compound words (like bus rapid transit, dog whistle, or identity theft) don’t appear on the drop-down list when you type them in the search bar. For best results with compound words, place a quotation mark before the compound word in the search window.

guide to the dictionary

use-icon

THE USAGE PANEL

The Usage Panel is a group of nearly 200 prominent scholars, creative writers, journalists, diplomats, and others in occupations requiring mastery of language. Annual surveys have gauged the acceptability of particular usages and grammatical constructions.

The Panelists

puzzle-icon

NEED HELP SOLVING A CROSSWORD PUZZLE?

Go to our Crossword Puzzle Solver and type in the letters that you know, and the Solver will produce a list of possible solutions.

open-icon

AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY APP

The new American Heritage Dictionary app is now available for iOS and Android.

scroll-icon

THE AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY BLOG

The articles in our blog examine new words, revised definitions, interesting images from the fifth edition, discussions of usage, and more.

100-words-icon

See word lists from the best-selling 100 Words Series!

Find out more!

open-icon

INTERESTED IN DICTIONARIES?

Check out the Dictionary Society of North America at http://www.dictionarysociety.com

of·fer fər, ŏfər)
Share:
v. of·fered, of·fer·ing, of·fers
v.tr.
1.
a. To present for acceptance or rejection; proffer: offered me a drink.
b. To put forward for consideration; propose: offer an opinion.
c. To present in order to meet a need or satisfy a requirement: offered new statistics in order to facilitate the decision-making process.
d. To present as an act of worship: offer a prayer.
e. To propose as payment; bid: offered only half what I was asking for the car.
2.
a. To make available; afford: The situation offers us the opportunity to learn more.
b. To present for sale: Those boots are being offered at half price.
c. To provide; furnish: a hotel that offers conference facilities.
3. To exhibit readiness or desire (to do something); volunteer: offered to carry the packages.
4. To engage in; put up: partisans who offered strong resistance to the invaders.
5. To threaten: offered to leave without them if they didn't hurry.
6. To produce or introduce on the stage: The repertory group is offering two new plays this season.
v.intr.
1. To present an offering in worship or devotion.
2. To make an offer or proposal, especially of marriage.
3. To present itself: "This plan was dropped, because of its risk, and because a better offered" (T.E. Lawrence).
4. Baseball To swing at a pitch. Used of a batter.
n.
1. The act of offering: an offer of assistance.
2. Something, such as a suggestion, proposal, bid, or recommendation, that is offered: Did you accept his offer for the car?
3. Law A proposal that if accepted constitutes a legally binding contract.
4. The condition of being offered, especially for sale: thousands of bushels of wheat on offer.

[Middle English offren, from Old English offrian, to present in worship, and from Old French offrir, to propose, present, both from Latin offerre, to present, offer : ob-, to; see OB- + ferre, to bring; see bher-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

offer·er, offer·or n.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

This website is best viewed in Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, or Safari. Some characters in pronunciations and etymologies cannot be displayed properly in Internet Explorer.