offend

verb
of·​fend | \ə-ˈfend \
offended; offending; offends

Definition of offend 

intransitive verb

1a : to transgress (see transgress sense 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

transitive verb

1a : violate, transgress a contract not offending a statute … might still be in restraint of trade— C. A. Cooke

b : to cause pain to : hurt tasteless billboards that offend the eye

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.

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Other Words from offend

offender noun

Choose the Right Synonym for offend

offend, outrage, affront, insult mean to cause hurt feelings or deep resentment. offend need not imply an intentional hurting but it may indicate merely a violation of the victim's sense of what is proper or fitting. hoped that my remarks had not offended her outrage implies offending beyond endurance and calling forth extreme feelings. outraged by their accusations affront implies treating with deliberate rudeness or contemptuous indifference to courtesy. deeply affronted by his callousness insult suggests deliberately causing humiliation, hurt pride, or shame. insulted every guest at the party

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

If the offending student is sent to administration, they are often required to implement zero-tolerance discipline policies prescribed by the school district that mandate suspension or expulsion for various infractions. Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, "TEACHING FOR BLACK LIVES," 10 July 2018 After the pain increased, and a rash formed and spread across Logan's chest, his parents reportedly found the offending caterpillar and took Logan and the insect to the hospital. Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, "Caterpillar Sends Teen to Hospital in "Worst Pain He's Ever Felt"," 22 June 2018 The school disciplined the student, changed the offending student’s class schedule and locker location. Katie Park, Philly.com, "Anti-Semitic text messages and an alleged threat of school violence. Did a Chester County school district handle the situation correctly?," 15 June 2018 The newspaper would be thrown way in the next day’s trash and the only proof of the offending idiotic column would be in the memory banks of few readers. Mike Bianchi, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Dumbest column I've ever written: Dwight Howard would be greater than LeBron James," 8 June 2018 Instead of having an arrest first, the hearing is requested in which a judge decides whether to issue the warrant and have the offending party arrested. Raisa Habersham, ajc, "VIDEO: Gwinnett restaurant owner accused of slapping employee over wrong order," 23 May 2018 Until recently, corporations have typically been reluctant to address the sorts of controversial issues that divide Americans, for fear of offending potential customers. Adam Winkler, The New Republic, "Why big business is suddenly into liberal politics," 30 Apr. 2018 In theory Article 7 can strip an offending country of its EU voting rights. The Economist, "The EU should get tough on its illiberal democracies," 19 Apr. 2018 This cleanup uses current taxpayer money to remedy past damage that should have been corrected by the offending private industries. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, "The Mail," 6 Apr. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of offend

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for offend

Middle English offenden "to assail, violate, displease, hurt the feelings of," borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French offendre, borrowed from Latin offendere "to strike against, stumble (upon), trouble, break a rule, displease, annoy," from ob- ob- + -fendere presumably, "to strike, hit" (unattested without prefixes) — more at defend

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Dictionary Entries near offend

offcut

offen

Offenbach

offend

offendedly

offend the eye

offense

Statistics for offend

Last Updated

4 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for offend

The first known use of offend was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for offend

offend

verb

English Language Learners Definition of offend

: 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

verb
of·​fend | \ə-ˈfend \
offended; offending

Kids Definition of offend

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?

of·​fend | \ə-ˈfend \

Legal Definition of offend 

: to commit an offense

Other Words from offend

offender noun

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