inoffensive

adjective
in·of·fen·sive | \ ˌin-ə-ˈfen(t)-siv \

Definition of inoffensive 

1 : causing no harm or injury

2a : giving no provocation : peaceable

b : not objectionable to the senses

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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

In the most shrug-inducing, inoffensive match of the World Cup, it’s Sweden versus Switzerland. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "The World Cup’s Most Neutral Matchup," 2 July 2018 Honestly, most were perfectly inoffensive, the sort of offerings that might scratch an itch in the right setting. Nick Kindelsperger, chicagotribune.com, "New kind of veggie burger threatens old-school variety for title of Chicago's best," 22 Jan. 2018 This is a far cry from the situation in the late 20th century, when Italian white wines were dismissed as inoffensive, innocuous or worse. Eric Asimov, New York Times, "From Campania’s Volcanic Soils, Whites in Multiple Colors," 31 May 2018 The dealership was brick and glass, a version of traditional modern that implied the late nineties of Andrew’s graduate-school years: inclusive and hopeful and almost glaringly inoffensive. David Gilbert, The New Yorker, "Fungus," 4 June 2017 Something that started decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive is now politically incorrect. Maria Pasquini, PEOPLE.com, "Priyanka Chopra Calls Controversial Simpsons Character Apu 'the Bane of My Life Growing Up'," 3 May 2018 Something that started decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive is now politically incorrect. New York Times, "‘Simpsons’ Creator Says of Apu Criticism, ‘People Love to Pretend They’re Offended’," 1 May 2018 Hulot’s gentle, inoffensive disposition seems hopeless in dealing with all the paraphernalia of the Arpels’ high-tech kitchen. Peter Cowie, WSJ, "Hilariously Stuck Between Modernity and the Past," 27 Apr. 2018 Something that started decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive is now politically incorrect. NBC News, "Actor Hank Azaria willing to 'step aside' from voicing Apu on 'The Simpsons'," 25 Apr. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of inoffensive

1646, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for inoffensive

Last Updated

29 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for inoffensive

The first known use of inoffensive was in 1646

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More Definitions for inoffensive

inoffensive

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of inoffensive

: not likely to offend or bother anyone : not offensive

inoffensive

adjective
in·of·fen·sive | \ ˌi-nə-ˈfen-siv \

Kids Definition of inoffensive

: not likely to offend or bother anyone an inoffensive joke

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