noises off pl (plural only)

  1. (theater) Sound effects produced offstage.
    • 1934, Alfred Kenneth Boyd, The Technique of Play Production:
      A separate section is given to this subject because as a rule the importance of noises off is badly underestimated in the amateur theatre.
  2. (by extension) Something occurring on the margins or periphery of a given event, situation etc.
    • 2002, Colin Jones, The Great Nation, Penguin 2003, p. 515:
      The political situation after the Year V elections developed into a war of position between rival factions, with muffled insurrectionary noises off supplied by bellicose neo-Jacobins and sabre-rattling royalists.