toward off


New Member
Korean - Korea
Instead it should rapidly learn modern Western ways in everything from military affairs to education, both toward off Western powers and to impress them.

* it = Japan

1) Would you plesase explain the meaning/nuance of "off" in the above sentence. Is the off adverb?
2) Please suggest similar usage of the off as in the above sentence.
  • pcy0308

    Senior Member
    Hello post12,
    It seems like there was a tiny spacing error in the sentence. Instead of "toward off", it should be written "to ward off", which means to deter, hinder or prevent someone/something from happening or approaching. "Off" here connotes the idea of fending something off and getting rid of something, be it potential elements of harm, danger, or simply an unwanted fuss to prevent adverse consequences.

    Other phrasal verbs, such as "scare off", "stave off", "" make use of "off" in such similar nuance:
    - He placed those scarecrows on his fields to scare off birds.
    - (quoting a rather popular rap artist) "get that dirt off your shoulder". :)

    Hope this helps.


    New Member
    Korean - Korea
    Dear pcy0308,
    Indeed, you're absolutely right.
    My apologies! I tried in vain to delete the above Question, as I uploaded the same question into the English Usage section as well and furthurmore I soon realized my misreading of no-space. Please understand that I am a new member here.
    Thank you very much for your kind and thorough explanation.
    Let me revert to you again with another questions(in the section of English Usage?).
    Best wishes
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