In automotive terms, offset is used to describe the distance between the centreline of a wheel, and hub mounting surface.

There is some dispute as to which direction is 'negative offset' and which is 'positive offset' but SAE standards specify that negative offset (also known as 'deep dish') is where the hub mounting surface is on the inboard side of the wheel's centreline, and that positive offset is where the hub mounting surface is on the outboard side of the wheel's centreline. 'Zero offset' is (obviously enough) where the hub mounting surface is directly in line with the centreline of the wheel.

Most front wheel drive cars and some more recent rear wheel drive cars have positive offset wheels.

If wheels with the incorrect offset are used, handling problems can occur, and tyre life can be decreased. This can be corrected in some cases by careful use of wheel spacers. Changes in offset can also alter a vehicle's track and Ackermann angles.

Off"set` (?), n. [Off + set. Cf. Set-off.]

In general, that which is set off, from, before, or against, something

; as: --

1. Bot.

A short prostrate shoot, which takes root and produces a tuft of leaves, etc. See Illust. of Houseleek.


A sum, account, or value set off against another sum or account, as an equivalent; hence, anything which is given in exchange or retaliation; a set-off.


A spur from a range of hills or mountains.

4. Arch.

A horizontal ledge on the face of a wall, formed by a diminution of its thickness, or by the weathering or upper surface of a part built out from it; -- called also set-off.

5. Surv.

A short distance measured at right angles from a line actually run to some point in an irregular boundary, or to some object.

6. Mech.

An abrupt bend in an object, as a rod, by which one part is turned aside out of line, but nearly parallel, with the rest; the part thus bent aside.

7. Print.

A more or less distinct transfer of a printed page or picture to the opposite page, when the pages are pressed together before the ink is dry or when it is poor.

Offset staff Surv., a rod, usually ten links long, used in measuring offsets. <-- offset printing. see def. 7 -->


© Webster 1913.

Off*set" (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Offset; p. pr. & vb. n. Offsetting.]


To set off; to place over against; to balance; as, to offset one account or charge against another.


To form an offset in, as in a wall, rod, pipe, etc.


© Webster 1913.

Off"set, v. i. Printing

To make an offset.


© Webster 1913.

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