in·​of·​fen·​sive ˌin-ə-ˈfen(t)-siv How to pronounce inoffensive (audio)
: causing no harm or injury
: giving no provocation : peaceable
: not objectionable to the senses
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 Those songs function as inoffensive window dressing. Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter, 3 Apr. 2024 Even when the subject at hand is something as inoffensive and apolitical as animal fostering. Caroline Mimbs Nyce, The Atlantic, 28 Mar. 2024 That kitchen is decorated in inoffensive shades of taupe. Robin Givhan, Washington Post, 12 Mar. 2024 Since this stretch mark cream is fragrance-free, the scent is inoffensive and a safe bet for pregnant people who may be experiencing morning sickness or smell aversions. Phoebe Sklansky, Parents, 7 Mar. 2024 The series is fine, occasionally chuckle-worthy and entirely inoffensive. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, 17 Jan. 2024 Homey Welcome to my home, rainbow cylinder The Homey Pro is a thoroughly inoffensive black, shiny, cylindrical thing, powered by USB-C and connecting by Wi-Fi or (via pass-through dongle) Ethernet. Kevin Purdy, Ars Technica, 11 Dec. 2023 That puts Disney, a reputable brand that aims to be as inoffensive as possible, in the company of Fox News, the only other major television broadcaster that comes to mind that allows for the irresponsible and unchecked airing of such anti-intellectual drivel. Wire Service, The Mercury News, 10 Jan. 2024 That such a show was received as funny and inoffensive is hard to imagine now, but in my childhood its reruns were continuous. Jordan Castro, Harper's Magazine, 5 Jan. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'inoffensive.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1646, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of inoffensive was in 1646

Dictionary Entries Near inoffensive

Cite this Entry

“Inoffensive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


in·​of·​fen·​sive ˌin-ə-ˈfen(t)-siv How to pronounce inoffensive (audio)
: not offensive or harmful
inoffensively adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on inoffensive

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