offensive

adjective
of·​fen·​sive | \ ə-ˈfen(t)-siv, especially for sense 1 ˈä-ˌfen(t)-, ˈȯ- \

Definition of offensive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : making attack : aggressive The bear made offensive movements.
b : of, relating to, or designed for attack offensive weapons
c : of or relating to an attempt to score in a game or contest offensive maneuvers also : of or relating to a team in possession of the ball or puck offensive linemen
2 : giving painful or unpleasant sensations : nauseous, obnoxious an offensive odor
3 : causing displeasure or resentment offensive remarks

offensive

noun

Definition of offensive (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act of an attacking party
2 : attack

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Other Words from offensive

Adjective

offensively adverb
offensiveness noun

Examples of offensive in a Sentence

Adjective

He made some offensive remarks. An offensive odor was coming from the basement.

Noun

the primary offensive by the ground forces will commence at dawn tomorrow
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Still, while there aren’t glaring weaknesses like there have been in the past few years (see: offensive line, running game) there are steps Seattle must take to contend with the best. Matt Calkins, The Seattle Times, "Pete Carroll doesn’t seem satisfied with 10-6 and the playoffs, and knows offseason work is needed," 8 Jan. 2019 His offensive line, thought to be a weakness before the game, kept him upright, and together the Tigers converted 10 of 15 third downs. Rachel Bachman, WSJ, "Clemson Routs Alabama to Win College Football’s National Championship," 8 Jan. 2019 But by then, even key members of the elder Trump’s offensive line on the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees were backing way off the defenestration of Rosenstein. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "Moral anchors aweigh on Kavanaugh, Rosenstein," 24 Sep. 2018 Pressure campaigns really are effective at shutting down offensive speech. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "Milo Yiannopoulos’s collapse shows that no-platforming can work," 5 Dec. 2018 Wolf came under fire for her jokes being offensive to Trump and some members of his administration. Kathleen Joyce, Fox News, "Kathy Griffin claims she's on a 'kill list,' says industry still shuns her for Trump mask picture," 2 Oct. 2018 Well, if that's going to come to fruition, Grier will live up to expectations of being the preseason Big 12 offensive player of the year. Drew Davison, star-telegram, "Here’s the complete list of All-Big 12 football selections," 11 July 2018 In such a case, the Zumwalts would rely on the 80 vertical-launch missile silos per ship to provide offensive firepower. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "As the Final Zumwalt-Class Stealth Destroyer Launches, the Ships’ Fate Remains Unclear," 11 Dec. 2018 Their offensive line is sound, their quarterback’s one of the most dynamic players in college football. Theo Lawson, The Seattle Times, "Entering Apple Cup, Cougars hold at No. 8 in College Football Playoff rankings," 20 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But more troubling than Facebook’s charm offensive is its executives’ apparent preference for being regulated by Washington rather than regulating themselves. Allysia Finley, WSJ, "Will Facebook’s Grownups Please Stand Up," 21 Nov. 2018 And this morning: The trade offensive is all the more head-scratching considering those with whom Trump is ramping up economic hostilities -- allies in Europe and Canada who Trump will meet next week as part of the NATO summit in Brussels. Rachel Van Dongen, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Trump's trade war is getting very real," 3 July 2018 American officials said the offensive was to punish Syria for the Douma attack, which left scores dead. Helene Cooper And Ben Hubbard, New York Times, "Pentagon Says Syria Strikes Hit ‘Heart’ of Chemical Weapons Program," 14 Apr. 2018 How different will the offensive, defensive schemes be? Creg Stephenson, AL.com, "5 things to look for in South Alabama's Red-Blue spring game on Saturday," 13 Apr. 2018 The Trump administration’s latest offensive is a response to alleged infringements of intellectual property in China. Bloomberg.com, "Bloomberg," 4 Apr. 2018 Get our daily newsletter The charm offensive is an uphill battle. The Economist, "Prince Charm-offensiveSaudi Arabia launches a charm offensive in Britain," 8 Mar. 2018 Of particular concern is the ongoing regime offensive in eastern Ghouta and Idlib province, as well as the Turkish military operation against the Kurdish enclave of Afrin. Chase Winter, USA TODAY, "U.N. human rights chief warns of 'apocalypse' in Syria," 7 Mar. 2018 Hudson and Osemele would be sensible to keep, seeing as the offensive like is one of McKenzie’s proudest investments and Derek Carr is the catalyst for their system. Conor Orr, SI.com, "Cap Casualties: Players on the Chopping Block as 2018 NFL Free Agency Approaches," 23 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'offensive.' 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 offensive

Adjective

circa 1564, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1687, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for offensive

Adjective

borrowed from Middle French & Medieval Latin; Middle French offensif, borrowed from Medieval Latin offensīvus "used for attacking, causing injury," from Latin offensus, past participle of offendere "to strike against, break a rule, offend" + -īvus -ive

Noun

derivative of offensive entry 1

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Dictionary Entries near offensive

offend the eye

offense

offensible

offensive

offer

offerable

offerer

Statistics for offensive

Last Updated

16 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for offensive

The first known use of offensive was circa 1564

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More Definitions for offensive

offensive

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of offensive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: causing someone to feel hurt, angry, or upset : rude or insulting

: very unpleasant

sports : of or relating to the way that players try to score against an opponent in a game or contest

offensive

noun

English Language Learners Definition of offensive (Entry 2 of 2)

: a large military attack

offensive

adjective
of·​fen·​sive | \ ə-ˈfen-siv \

Kids Definition of offensive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : causing displeasure or resentment an offensive smell an offensive question
2 : of or relating to the attempt to score in a game or contest the offensive team
3 : made for or relating to an attack offensive weapons an offensive strategy

Other Words from offensive

offensively adverb
offensiveness noun

offensive

noun

Kids Definition of offensive (Entry 2 of 2)

: attack entry 2 sense 1 The enemy launched an offensive.
on the offensive
: in a situation that calls for opposing action The soldiers are on the offensive.

offensive

adjective
of·​fen·​sive | \ ə-ˈfen-siv \

Legal Definition of offensive

1 : of, relating to, or designed for attack offensive weapons
2 : causing displeasure or resentment especially : contrary to a particular or prevailing sense of what is decent, proper, or moral depicted sexual acts in a patently offensive way — see also obscene

Other Words from offensive

offensively adverb
offensiveness noun

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Comments on offensive

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