in·​of·​fen·​sive | \ ˌin-ə-ˈfen(t)-siv How to pronounce inoffensive (audio) \

Definition of inoffensive

1 : causing no harm or injury
2a : giving no provocation : peaceable
b : not objectionable to the senses

Other Words from inoffensive

inoffensively adverb
inoffensiveness noun

Examples of inoffensive in a Sentence

The priest was a mild-mannered inoffensive fellow. an inoffensive little joke at the opening of his speech
Recent Examples on the Web The Framework Laptop has an unassuming, inoffensive keyboard and trackpad that are both nice to use. Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica, 24 July 2022 The resurgence of Scandinavian interior design trends in recent years has meant a ubiquity of warm woods, clean lines and spare, inoffensive furniture. New York Times, 2 June 2022 But if the Beaver was just an inoffensive beaver who was overlooked, the young athletes may want to register a polite protest. Jacobina Martin, Washington Post, 30 May 2022 The faint coconut smell is inoffensive, unlike some sunscreens that smell chalky or like Pina Coladas. Svati Kirsten Narula, Outside Online, 4 June 2022 The filling is inoffensive ricotta and four other filler cheeses, a blank canvas for saucing up. Alex Beggs, Bon Appétit, 31 May 2022 But how can there be any inoffensive middle ground on mass shootings in supermarkets, in houses of worship, in fourth-grade classrooms? Mike Finger Mike Finger, San Antonio Express-News, 28 May 2022 That's on top of a few inoffensive modifications that are well advised, like stainless brake lines and an upgraded shift mechanism. James Tate, Car and Driver, 8 Apr. 2022 For at least a year, starting in March 2020, these inoffensive, often gingham or plaid shirts were what homebound men and women wore on video call after video call. Jacob Gallagher, WSJ, 7 Apr. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'inoffensive.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of inoffensive

1646, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of inoffensive was in 1646

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Last Updated

7 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Inoffensive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for inoffensive


in·​of·​fen·​sive | \ ˌi-nə-ˈfen-siv How to pronounce inoffensive (audio) \

Kids Definition of inoffensive

: not likely to offend or bother anyone an inoffensive joke

More from Merriam-Webster on inoffensive

Nglish: Translation of inoffensive for Spanish Speakers


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