From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Offing \Off"ing\ ([o^]f"[i^]ng; 115), n. [From Off.]
   That part of the sea at a good distance from the shore, or
   where there is deep water and no need of a pilot; also,
   distance from the shore; as, the ship had ten miles offing;
   we saw a ship in the offing.
   [1913 Webster]

   in the offing
   (a) coming; arriving in the foreseeable future.
   (b) visible but not nearby.
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