offensive

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

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

The offensive line was one of those teams’ biggest strengths. Will Larkin, chicagotribune.com, "Ranking the 100 best Bears players ever: No. 83, Zuck Carlson," 15 June 2019 The offensive line was pummeled much of last season, ranking near the bottom of the league in sacks allowed (34) while finishing last in tackles-for-a-loss-allowed after giving up nearly nine per game in 2018. Matt Murschel, orlandosentinel.com, "College Football Rankings: No. 73 Colorado hopes changes at top lead to more wins," 15 June 2019 Auburn now has 10 players committed in the Class of 2020, including four on the offensive line and three wide receivers. Sam Blum | Sblum@al.com, al.com, "Four-star OLB Trenton Simpson commits to Auburn football," 14 June 2019 The rich people of Lafayette probably don’t like the increase in local road traffic driving to BART, and multistory structures might be visually offensive. Maximilian Auffhammer, The Mercury News, "Opinion: Install more parking — not just solar panels — at commuter rail stations," 13 June 2019 This is offensive when people are suffering every day without full access to reproductive care. Dave Quinn, PEOPLE.com, "The Handmaid’s Tale Star Bradley Whitford Calls Kylie Jenner’s Gilead-Themed Party ‘Tacky’," 12 June 2019 Secondhand smoking is offensive to many people, Ward said. Rafael Guerrero, Elgin Courier-News, "South Elgin considering smoking ban in its public parks," 9 June 2019 But its placement is less offensive than a slab on the rear carrier or a big ol’ Bosch tumor bolted onto the down tube. Thomas Ricker, The Verge, "First look: Cowboy proves the e-bikes with removable batteries can be beautiful," 8 June 2019 The offensive highlight was quarterback Joe Flacco’s touchdown bomb (50-55 yards) to receiver Courtland Sutton. Ryan O'halloran, The Denver Post, "Broncos’ Ron Leary glad to be back at his preferred right guard position, and more from Day 2 of minicamp," 5 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Tens of thousands of Croatians, mostly pro-fascist soldiers and their families, fled to the region in May 1945 amid a Yugoslav army offensive, only to be turned back from Austria by the British military and into the hands of anti-fascists. Dusan Stojanovic, The Seattle Times, "Croats gather in Austria for controversial commemoration," 18 May 2019 Their latest offensive: a push to investigate Rosenstein for alleged threats to congressional aides. Jen Kirby, Vox, "2 Trump allies in the House demand an investigation into Rod Rosenstein," 17 July 2018 Opposition supporters said Thursday that the army’s crushing victories in other rebel strongholds had loomed large over this offensive, breaking morale and encouraging towns and villages to surrender as the bombing intensified. Louisa Loveluck, Washington Post, "Syrian army raises flag above city considered as birthplace of uprising against Assad," 12 July 2018 New offensives by the regime risk pulling foreign powers deeper into the conflict. The Economist, "How a victorious Bashar al-Assad is changing Syria," 28 June 2018 Many are sharing the meme, which displays offensive, and often violent, views of LGBTQ+ people, and the whole thing seems to have started as a joke between fans, according to BuzzFeed. Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, "Millie Bobby Brown's Photos Have Been Made Into an Anti-Gay Meme," 14 June 2018 The Houthi-run Al Masirah satellite news channel later acknowledged the offensive, claiming rebel forces hit a Saudi coalition ship near Hodeida with two land-to-sea missiles. NBC News, "Saudi-led forces aim to drive rebels from Yemeni port of Hodeida," 13 June 2018 North Korea has been seeking several things from an ongoing charm offensive, launched just this year. Jon Wolfsthal, The New Republic, "Trump Plays Hard to Get," 24 May 2018 Nearly three years after Jefferson County considered covering or removing two murals that some considered offensive, a new mural that depicts the diversity of the county in the 21st Century was unveiled in the courthouse lobby. Erin Edgemon, AL.com, "Jefferson County unveils inclusive mural next to 2 deemed offensive," 24 Apr. 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

19 Jun 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 How to pronounce offensive (audio) \

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 How to pronounce offensive (audio) \

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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incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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