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

After spending a suns-out-buns-out weekend at Coachella, YouTuber James Charles is facing serious heat from his fans after making an offensive comment about transgender men. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "James Charles Addresses Ignorant Comment About Transgender Men After Facing Backlash," 19 Apr. 2019 Henry did his best Draymond Green impression as the do-it-all 6-foot-6 forward was all over the offensive end of the floor. Stephen Whyno, The Seattle Times, "Freshmen lead Michigan State past LSU and into Elite Eight," 30 Mar. 2019 Jackson has also become a major threat on the offensive end, shooting 51.3 percent from the field last year. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Memphis Grizzlies' Jaren Jackson Jr. could be best player in NBA draft," 21 June 2018 Placing offensive missiles on an unmanned ship would provide the Navy with greater flexibility in engaging enemy targets, flanking enemy forces, and then launching missiles from unexpected directions. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "What We Know About the U.S. Navy's Drone Fleet of the Future," 15 Jan. 2019 The site now has mainstream advertisers, many of which would not want to see their ads next to objectionable or deliberately offensive material. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Book tells the inside story of how Reddit came to be the Internet’s “id”," 30 Dec. 2018 Victoria's Secret received considerable backlash after Ed Razek, chief marketing officer of the brand's parent company, L Brands, made a number of offensive comments in an interview with Vogue published on Thursday, November 8. Zoë Weiner, Teen Vogue, "Did Rihanna Just Clue Everyone In on How She Feels About VS's Savage x Fenty Dig?," 12 Nov. 2018 But for Bam Adebayo, the offensive game has remained a work in progress during his second stint playing in NBA Summer League. Barry Jackson, miamiherald, "Mixed offensive results for Bam Adebayo in summer league," 10 July 2018 With a 3-point shot to go along with a burgeoning offensive game, the 6-foot-11 prospect with a 7-4 wingspan appears to have star power. Vince Ellis, Detroit Free Press, "Jaren Jackson Jr.'s weary Sunday caps fabulous NBA Summer League week," 9 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Election Losses The decision by Democrats to take the offensive on health care marks a switch in tactics from 2010, when the party lost 64 seats and the House majority after passing the Affordable Care Act. Bloomberg.com, "Democrats Aim to Turn Obamacare Into Asset From Burden in 2018," 6 Apr. 2018 An Austrian soldier trained headquarters troops from Burkina Faso on the mechanics of running offensives. Joe Parkinson, WSJ, "In West Africa, Violent Extremism Spreads as U.S. Trims Military Footprint," 24 Feb. 2019 Instead, Wolfe focuses on science as propaganda, part of America’s psychological offensive designed to convince people to buy into American ideology. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "Cold War propaganda spread the myth that science isn’t political," 11 Dec. 2018 Gerry Besana said the military is unaware of any ransom payment and added that relentless offensives pressured the kidnappers to let go of their hostages. Jim Gomez, Fox News, "Militants free 3 Indonesian hostages in southern Philippines," 16 Sep. 2018 The postponement came as government forces intensified their offensive on the area, known as eastern Ghouta, under the cover of airstrikes. Fox News, "The Latest: Turkey wants Afrin offensive to end by May," 8 Mar. 2018 If recalcitrant journalists or their sources don’t bow to legal threats, the aggrieved can go on the offensive—in other words, get down and dirty. Ben Widdicombe, Town & Country, "How Much Does It Cost to Keep Your Name Out of the News?," 18 Jan. 2019 Others, like Roosevelt University political scientist David Faris, argue that Democrats need to go on the offensive with moves that would make voting and elections both more democratic and more favorable to Democrats. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "New Jersey Democrats have a new gerrymandering plan. It is indefensible — and national Democrats need to stop it.," 14 Dec. 2018 YouTube has gone on the offensive over the last month to garner support in opposing the EU’s copyright directive. Julia Alexander, The Verge, "YouTube CEO calls EU’s proposed copyright regulation financially impossible," 12 Nov. 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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Learn More about offensive

Dictionary Entries near offensive

offend the eye

offense

offensible

offensive

offer

offerable

offerer

Statistics for offensive

Last Updated

24 Apr 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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