off-the-record definition by American Heritage Dictionary
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition Copyright © 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Not for publication or attribution: off-the-record comments by the senator.
off-the-record - Phrases/Idioms
Unofficially, in confidence, not for publication, as in What he was about to say, he told the reporters, was strictly off the record. Probably alluding to striking evidence from a court record (because it is irrelevant or improper), this term came into wide use in the mid-1900s, especially with reference to persons who did not wish to be quoted by journalists. For antonyms, see go on record; just for the record.