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

But before you get offended about it, know that the same goes for White Claw. Lauren Saria, azcentral, "We tried Pabst Blue Ribbon's Stronger Seltzer and Hard Coffee. Here's what they taste like," 6 Sep. 2019 The prospect of having to write from the perspective of a white racist woman offended some students who experienced discrimination, while others grappled with whether using racist language would be considered historically accurate or inappropriate. James Vaznis, BostonGlobe.com, "Controversial MCAS question hurt scores of some black students, study finds," 30 Aug. 2019 The decision to be demure, to rely on colors that do not offend or call attention, is tied up in class-specific ideas of propriety and respectability. Cate Young, Vox, "Claws is a love letter to the proud, strip mall–fabulous American woman," 2 Aug. 2019 Although now that Kim has officially addressed the critics and will need to carefully select a new name that doesn't offend an entire culture, the wait might end up being a bit longer than originally anticipated. Mekita Rivas, refinery29.com, "Kim Kardashian Is Changing The Name Of Her Shapewear Line After Backlash," 3 July 2019 Braddock also was banned from the Senate floor this past session for tweeting something that offended Patrick. Dallas News, "Michael Quinn Sullivan's secret audio of Texas House speaker blurs line between journalism, activism," 22 Aug. 2019 While the amicus brief filed by Whitehouse and his fellow senators may offend some with its feisty tone, the impetus for it is one that many Americans, concerned with the proliferation of mass shootings and gun violence, will no doubt understand. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "A gun law case before the US Supreme Court has Americans up in arms," 17 Aug. 2019 The tour’s pace-of-play rules focus on the position of groups rather than the offending player. Teddy Greenstein, chicagotribune.com, "A solution for slow play on the PGA Tour? ‘Throw a shot clock out there,’ TV analyst Paul Azinger says," 15 Aug. 2019 In the past, federal Environmental Protection Agency officials pushed Colorado to clean up the state’s air and comply with health standards in an offending nine-county area encompassing metro Denver and the northern Front Range. Bruce Finley, The Denver Post, "Colorado revs toward an electric car future, compelled by climate change and air pollution," 15 Aug. 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

9 Sep 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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