offend

verb
of·​fend | \ ə-ˈfend How to pronounce offend (audio) \
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

The offending tweet has since been deleted, but several Twitter users took a screenshot before it was taken down. Emily Caron, SI.com, "Radio Host Takes Leave of Absence After Homophobic Slur Sent from Station's Twitter," 13 Sep. 2019 Occasionally, Teigen’s retorts lead the offending social media users to apologize. Washington Post, "Trump called Chrissy Teigen a ‘filthy mouthed wife.’ Her response reflects years of social media savvy.," 12 Sep. 2019 Twitter suspended the offending account by Wednesday but by then the claim was widely shared on social media. Amanda Seitz, Fortune, "False Claims Blur Line Between Mass Shootings, 2020 Politics," 5 Sep. 2019 Sherr had told police that McClure encouraged him to remove offending signs. Bill Laitner, Detroit Free Press, "Bloomfield Hills official who stole yard signs blames the victim in court," 3 Sep. 2019 The study also shows that more than half of the people killed by red light-running drivers in 2017 — the last year statistics on such deaths are available — were in vehicles operated by non-offending drivers, AAA officials said. Jesse Garza, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "AAA cites state red light deaths, joins city campaign against reckless driving," 29 Aug. 2019 Even Pinterest has had to combat the propaganda, blocking anti-vax searches and pulling down offending posts. Time, "'They’re Chipping Away.' Inside the Grassroots Effort to Fight Mandatory Vaccines," 13 June 2019 Provided you're not offended by the calls to action for Prime Video and Alexa dotted throughout Amazon's Fire TV interface, the Fire TV Stick 4K is as powerful as any streaming dongle on the market. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Dealmaster: Amazon Prime Day deals you can snag for under $50," 16 July 2019 But the glaring dangler offends my eye more than a Hummer with no parking placard sprawled across two handicapped spaces. June Casagrande, Burbank Leader, "A Word, Please: Offended by danglers like this one, simple solutions occur to her," 12 Sep. 2019

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 of-, assimilated variant of 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

21 Oct 2019

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)
formal : to do wrong : to be against what people believe is acceptable or proper

offend

verb
of·​fend | \ ə-ˈfend How to pronounce offend (audio) \
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 How to pronounce offend (audio) \

Legal Definition of offend

: to commit an offense

Other Words from offend

offender noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on offend

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with offend

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for offend

Spanish Central: Translation of offend

Nglish: Translation of offend for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of offend for Arabic Speakers

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