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 Shakespeareb : 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 pebbleb : 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.
Recent Examples of offend from the Web
The Home Office, which conducted the study, denied that the government had withheld it to avoid offending or embarrassing the Saudis.
Smith appears to be offended that the film credits so much of Reagan's success to stagecraft.
According to the ruling, all of the offending stores must be disabled and any faux Chanel product images taken down.
There is a demonstration that the queer community and women can be offended, hurt, and insulted as a flailing party tries to keep its grip on power.
One of them was Gennady Onishchenko, who has become widely known for recommending bans on food products from countries that had offended the Russian leadership during his time as chief sanitary inspector.
Time to replace the gas hot water tank with an electric model, yeah? Johnny Thinwallet’s sensibilities are mightily offended.
The Redskins made similar arguments after the trademark office ruled in 2014 that the name offends American Indians and canceled the team's trademark.
The constitution states that penalties for tampering include suspension of the offending person, prohibition of the offending team from hiring the person being tampered with, forfeiture of draft picks and team fines of up to $5 million.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'offend.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
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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