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

So, apparently, we boomers have been offending and creeping out the kids for years. Washington Post, "Gene Weingarten: The new rules of punctuation are unbelievable. Period.," 12 July 2019 When Twitter requires a user to delete a tweet violating one of its policies, the user is also unable to post new tweets from his or her account until the offending one is removed. Oliver Darcy, CNN, "Twitter says Louis Farrakhan's 2018 anti-Semitic tweet violates new rules," 9 July 2019 In 1999, the scene was likely easy to read as just risqué enough to amuse, not offend. Allegra Frank, Vox, "Pixar has removed a Hollywood “casting couch” joke from Toy Story 2," 3 July 2019 In an opinion written by Justice Alito, the Supreme Court reversed the 4th Circuit, agreeing with the District Court that the monument did not offend the First Amendment. Jack Greiner, Cincinnati.com, "Strictly Legal: Give me that old time religion," 26 June 2019 Coolest Emerging Act: Wonderfully outrageous Chicago rapper CupCakKe isn’t for the prudish or easily offended. Blake Ryan, Billboard, "A Guide to Summer Music Festival Season 2019," 24 June 2019 Brompton adds an additional three tiny plastic wheels (two on the frame, one on the rear fender) for trolley purposes, which offends my sense of design. Thomas Ricker, The Verge, "Test-riding GM’s Ariv Meld and folding Merge e-bikes," 21 June 2019 The majority concluded that the separate sovereign exception was valid and didn’t offend double jeopardy protections. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "The art of throwing shade in a SCOTUS dissent," 20 June 2019 There are some guys who walk with the pretty girl in the mall and guys look at them and they get offended or insecure. Kyle Neddenriep, Indianapolis Star, "Indiana basketball model ahead of the curve as NCAA shifts recruiting calendar, but 'there are kids losing out'," 20 June 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

15 Jul 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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