Definition of offend
1a : to transgress (see transgress transitive 1) the moral or divine law : sin <if it be a sin to covet honor, I am the most offending soul alive — William Shakespeare>b : to violate a law or rule : do wrong <offend against the law>
2a : to cause difficulty, discomfort, or injury <took off his shoe and removed the offending pebble>b : to cause dislike, anger, or vexation <thoughtless words that offend needlessly>
2 obsolete : to cause to sin or fall
3 : to cause (a person or group) to feel hurt, angry, or upset by something said or done <was offended by their language> <She carefully worded her comments so as not to offend anyone.>
Examples of offend in a sentence
His comments about minority groups offended many of us.
She had carefully worded her comments so as not to offend anyone.
It offends me that you would make such a remark.
Don't worry. I wasn't offended.
I felt a little offended by their lack of respect.
Some people are offended by the song's lyrics.
I'm sorry, I didn't mean to offend you.
I'm sorry, I didn't mean to offend.
Synonym Discussion of offend
OFFEND Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of offend for English Language Learners
: to cause (a person or group) to feel hurt, angry, or upset by something said or done
: to be unpleasant to (someone or something)
: to do wrong : to be against what people believe is acceptable or proper
OFFEND Defined for Kids
Definition of offend for Students
1 : to hurt the feelings of or insult <She uses language that offends people.>
2 : to do wrong <Is the released prisoner likely to offend again?>
Legal Definition of offend
: to commit an offense
Seen and Heard
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