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

While the intention was probably well-meaning, in reality, the sign was offensive. SELF, "Trainers and Fitness Pros Can't Help People of Color While Remaining Silent About Racism," 1 Nov. 2018 The backlash to the R-word—which is offensive to the special needs community—was pretty immediate, and Kardashian has now apologized via a statement to TMZ. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Kim Kardashian Just Apologized for Using the R-Word on Her Instagram Story," 1 Nov. 2018 One Riverdale fan on Twitter unsurfaced some tweets from Charles back in 2012 that were extremely offensive. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "A Complete Timeline of Camila Mendes and Charles Melton's Relationship," 8 Oct. 2018 No, no that would be too offensive to the supreme tailor. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Thom Browne's Dinner With Barneys New York Was a Parade of Polos, Octopus Gowns, and Whale-Print Silk Separates," 11 Sep. 2018 Indeed, expensive utility bikes are especially offensive to the American sensibility. Eben Weiss, Outside Online, "No, Cycling Isn't Elitist," 5 July 2018 Hiura has the look of a hitting prodigy and could be an offensive force for years to come at his position, with an ETA not that far into the future. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Haudricourt: Brewers looking to go big with Manny Machado, who is an absolutely perfect fit," 13 July 2018 Mantle, though plagued by injury, can be favorably compared to Mays, and Barry Bonds, Mays’ godson, is the modern player most often thought to rival Mays’ stature as an offensive force. John. N. Mcmurray, Smithsonian, "Even Today, Willie Mays Remains a Giant in Baseball History," 6 June 2018 Freshman Meredith Beck was also an offensive force with a batting average of .555 (20-36). Brent Kennedy, Howard County Times, "Howard County JV spring athletes earn their stripes," 5 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

By signing offensive tackle Cameron Fleming and guard Marcus Martin and drafting guard Connor Williams in the second round, Dallas might have afforded itself some flexibility. Michael Middlehurst-schwartz, USA TODAY, "Cowboys training camp questions: Who steps up at receiver for Dak Prescott?," 12 July 2018 Among the offensive tackles were Texas A&M commit Kenyon Green (Humble Atascocita), Ohio State commit Harry Miller (Buford, Ga.), Oklahoma commit E.J. Ndoma-Ogar (Allen) and Evan Neal (IMG Academy, Fl.). Brian Gosset, star-telegram, "Nolan Catholic 4-star DE enjoying his first appearance at The Opening in Frisco," 3 July 2018 This doesn’t include his cousin Kevin, a five-star offensive tackle from Millis (Mass.) High School, who is considering Notre Dame and Michigan. Laken Litman, Indianapolis Star, "Notre Dame's QB of the future Drew Pyne only has eyes for Fighting Irish," 28 June 2018 The Texans created a roster spot for Johnson bu cutting undrafted rookie offensive tackle Kendall Calhoun. Aaron Wilson, Houston Chronicle, "Texans claim Roderick Johnson, cut Kendall Calhoun," 20 June 2018 The Gators have a commitment from one of those 34 players so far: three-star offensive tackle Wardrick Wilson out of Doral Academy. Jordan Mcpherson, miamiherald, "Dan Mullen has a plan to improve the Gators' recruiting success in Florida | Miami Herald," 11 May 2018 Kentucky will also have at least two juniors – running back Benny Snell and former five-star offensive tackle Landon Young – who might have decisions to make about whether to return to school after the season. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "For second straight year, no Kentucky football players were selected in NFL draft," 28 Apr. 2018 The past five drafts, general managers have taken 20 offensive tackles in the first round, averaging 13.1 starts per year. Michael Salfino, WSJ, "In the NFL Draft, There’s One Position Teams Usually Get Right," 23 Apr. 2018 Government forces launched an offensive to recapture southwest Syria and the areas neighboring Jordan and Israel on June 19. Philip Issa, Fox News, "Syrian rebels agree to give up Daraa, cradle of 2011 revolt," 13 July 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

20 Nov 2018

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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