noun of·fense \ə-ˈfen(t)s, especially for 3 ˈä-ˌfen(t)s, ˈ-\

: something that causes a person to be hurt, angry, or upset

: something that is wrong or improper

: a criminal act

Full Definition of OFFENSE

a obsolete :  an act of stumbling
b archaic :  a cause or occasion of sin :  stumbling block
:  something that outrages the moral or physical senses
a :  the act of attacking :  assault
b :  the means or method of attacking or of attempting to score
c :  the offensive team or members of a team playing offensive positions
d :  scoring ability
a :  the act of displeasing or affronting
b :  the state of being insulted or morally outraged <takes offense at the slightest criticism>
a :  a breach of a moral or social code :  sin, misdeed
b :  an infraction of law; especially :  misdemeanor
of·fense·less \-ləs\ adjective

Variants of OFFENSE

of·fense or of·fence \ə-ˈfen(t)s, especially for 3 ˈä-ˌfen(t)s, ˈ-\

Examples of OFFENSE

  1. He was found guilty and fined $250 for each offense.
  2. Penalties for a first offense range from fines to jail time.
  3. Our team has the best offense in the league.
  4. The quarterback directs the offense.
  5. The team needs some work on its offense.
  6. The team plays good offense.

Origin of OFFENSE

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin offensa, from feminine of offensus, past participle of offendere
First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of OFFENSE

offense, resentment, umbrage, pique, dudgeon, huff mean an emotional response to or an emotional state resulting from a slight or indignity. offense implies hurt displeasure <takes deep offense at racial slurs>. resentment suggests lasting indignation or ill will <harbored a lifelong resentment of his brother>. umbrage may suggest hurt pride, resentment, or suspicion of another's motives <took umbrage at the offer of advice>. pique applies to a transient feeling of wounded vanity <in a pique I foolishly declined the invitation>. dudgeon suggests an angry fit of indignation <stormed out of the meeting in high dudgeon>. huff implies a peevish short-lived spell of anger usually at a petty cause <in a huff he slammed the door>.offense, sin, vice, crime, scandal mean a transgression of law. offense applies to the infraction of any law, rule, or code <at that school no offense went unpunished>. sin implies an offense against moral or religious law <the sin of blasphemy>. vice applies to a habit or practice that degrades or corrupts <regarded gambling as a vice>. crime implies a serious offense punishable by the law of the state <the crime of murder>. scandal applies to an offense that outrages the public conscience <a career ruined by a sex scandal>.


Next Word in the Dictionary: offensiblePrevious Word in the Dictionary: offendedlyAll Words Near: offense
March 31, 2015
refluent Hear it
Flowing back
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears