off and on

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Off \Off\ ([o^]f; 115), adv. [OE. of, orig. the same word as R.
   of, prep., AS. of, adv. & prep. [root]194. See Of.]
   In a general sense, denoting from or away from; as:
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   1. Denoting distance or separation; as, the house is a mile
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   2. Denoting the action of removing or separating; separation;
      as, to take off the hat or cloak; to cut off, to pare off,
      to clip off, to peel off, to tear off, to march off, to
      fly off, and the like.
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   3. Denoting a leaving, abandonment, departure, abatement,
      interruption, or remission; as, the fever goes off; the
      pain goes off; the game is off; all bets are off.
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   4. Denoting a different direction; not on or towards: away;
      as, to look off.
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   5. Denoting opposition or negation. [Obs.]
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            The questions no way touch upon puritanism, either
            off or on.                            --Bp.
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   From off, off from; off. "A live coal . . . taken with the
      tongs from off the altar." --Is. vi. 6.

   Off and on.
      (a) Not constantly; not regularly; now and then;
      (b) (Naut.) On different tacks, now toward, and now away
          from, the land.

   To be off.
      (a) To depart; to escape; as, he was off without a
          moment's warning.
      (b) To be abandoned, as an agreement or purpose; as, the
          bet was declared to be off. [Colloq.]

   To come off, To cut off, To fall off, To go off, etc.
      See under Come, Cut, Fall, Go, etc.

   To get off.
      (a) To utter; to discharge; as, to get off a joke.
      (b) To go away; to escape; as, to get off easily from a
          trial. [Colloq.]

   To take off To do a take-off on, To take off, to mimic,
      lampoon, or impersonate.

   To tell off
      (a) (Mil.), to divide and practice a regiment or company
          in the several formations, preparatory to marching to
          the general parade for field exercises. --Farrow.
      (b) to rebuke (a person) for an improper action; to scold;
          to reprimand.

   To be well off, to be in good condition.

   To be ill off, To be badly off, to be in poor condition.
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