The dinner went off fairly well [Meaning of 'go off']


Senior Member
Hi there,

Could you tell me what ( go off ) means here,please?

" The dinner went off fairly well despite the fact that Vincent's father was such a distraction to us,..."
from The End of The Story by LYDIA DAVIS

It seems to me like " accomplished" or simply "was" but I can not find a related one to its meanings which I found.

go off
1 (of a gun, bomb, or similar device) explode or fire. • (of an alarm) begin to sound. • informal become suddenly angry; lose one's temper : if you got in an argument with him, he'd just go off. 2 chiefly Brit. (esp. of food) begin to decompose; become unfit for consumption. 3 informal chiefly Brit. begin to dislike : I went off men after my husband left me. 4 go to sleep : I went off as soon as my head hit the pillow.

Thanks in advance for your help.
  • suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    How confusing this is.

    All of that dictionary definition is correct!
    But you are also correct to deduce that in this case to "go off" just means to happen, so pass by without incident.

    It is definition 3 in our own dictionary (which I recommend to you)

    adverb) to occur as specified: the meeting went off well

    related to the verb to pass off:
    (intransitive) to take place: the meeting passed off without disturbance
    Last edited:
    < Previous | Next >