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 Benson and Tillman are careful publicly speaking about each other because neither wants too much credit or to offend the other, but the addition of Benson to Maryland’s staff in mid-January was brilliant. Mike Preston, baltimoresun.com, "Mike Preston: Bobby Benson adds spice to Maryland’s offense for lacrosse clash with Johns Hopkins | COMMENTARY," 24 Apr. 2021 The department’s lack of administrative action back then may have left Rose free to offend again and again, from one generation to the next. BostonGlobe.com, "For years, the Boston Police kept a secret: the union president was an alleged child molester," 10 Apr. 2021 After landing a job at an upscale New York magazine, a British celebrity journalist proceeds to offend bosses, peers and superstars alike. Ed Stockly, Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week: James Dean in ‘Giant’ on TCM and more," 2 Apr. 2021 Mondale's was the demeanor of a reasonable man who could be counted on not to offend or embarrass his allies. Patrick Condon, Star Tribune, "Walter Mondale, who rose from small-town Minnesota to vice presidency, dies at 93," 19 Apr. 2021 Over His three years of ministry, Jesus managed to offend just about everyone, especially religious authorities. The Rev. Bill Thomas, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Thomas: The same spirit that raised Jesus from the dead can breathe life into all mortal bodies | RELIGION COMMENTARY," 2 Apr. 2021 This was Drummond tiptoeing around the margins, trying his best to not offend, focusing on his willingness to defend. Dan Woike, Los Angeles Times, "Lakers’ big challenge: How does Andre Drummond fit, and who’s the odd man out?," 30 Mar. 2021 In May, your competitiveness could come across as abrasive, so be careful not to offend anyone. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for April 2, 2021: Aries, make your mark in the business world; Virgo, it’s a good day to ask a favor," 2 Apr. 2021 At this time, when getting the vaccine is a polarizing issue, Hinch tried not to offend anyone while still expressing his opinion. Jeff Seidel, Detroit Free Press, "Getting Detroit Tigers the COVID-19 vaccine is more complicated than it sounds," 30 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for offend

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for offend

Last Updated

8 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Offend.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/offend. Accessed 17 May. 2021.

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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

Comments on offend

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