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 McCartney helped rookie Drew Lock go 4-1 down the stretch last season before offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello was fired, and his sidekick McCartney along with him. cleveland, "Browns OC Alex Van Pelt liked Baker Mayfield coming out & is eager to coach him after the QB beat his Bengals 3 times," 10 Feb. 2020 The Guardians are coached by former Giants’ offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride. Joe Williams, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "Tampa Bay Vipers at New York Guardians XFL odds, picks and best bets," 9 Feb. 2020 Belichick reached out to Kyle Shanahan shortly after the Patriots beat the Falcons in the Super Bowl (Shanahan was Atlanta’s offensive coordinator at the time). Ben Volin, BostonGlobe.com, "Why most of the country was rooting for Andy Reid in the Super Bowl," 8 Feb. 2020 Former Arizona State offensive coordinator Rob Likens has found a new home. Michelle Gardner, azcentral, "Former Arizona State OC Rob Likens headed to Miami as receivers coach," 7 Feb. 2020 Mahomes heard offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy's voice over the speaker in his helmet. Adam Kilgore, Anchorage Daily News, "‘That play in our back pocket’: How Patrick Mahomes rallied the Chiefs to a Super Bowl win," 3 Feb. 2020 Both he and Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman prove that creative coaching can make running relevant, even in a passing league. John Hirschauer, National Review, "Kyle Shanahan’s Revolution," 2 Feb. 2020 Speaking of excruciating shortfalls, Shanahan was the offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons during their devastating overtime loss to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI. Aj Willingham, CNN, "What time is the Super Bowl? And other things you need to know about the big game," 2 Feb. 2020 Grand Valley State University announced that Morris Berger would serve as the Division II football program’s new offensive coordinator on Jan. 20. Tim Pearce, Washington Examiner, "College football coach suspended after saying he wants to have dinner with Adolf Hitler," 27 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Sanders has been in the midst of an offensive against Biden since the beginning of the year. Joseph Simonson, Washington Examiner, "'A flat lie': Biden and Bernie Sanders fight over Social Security," 18 Jan. 2020 Since the start of Turkey’s offensive in north-east Syria on October 9th, at least 20 civilians have died in the seemingly indiscriminate shelling in Akcakale and other Turkish towns near the border, according to officials in Ankara. The Economist, "Turks cheer Erdogan’s war against Syrian Kurds," 15 Oct. 2019 On Saturday, the fourth day of the offensive, Turkish forces captured a key border town from the SDF. CBS News, "U.S. imposes new sanctions on Turkey over Syria offensive," 14 Oct. 2019 Turkish forces captured a key Syrian border town after heavy bombardment and fierce fighting Saturday on the fourth day of an offensive that has drawn international condemnation. Fox News, "Turkish forces capture center of key Syrian border town," 13 Oct. 2019 Just a good ol’ 81.6% uptick over the average number of offensive holding flags thrown over the past 10 seasons (according to the folks doing the Lord’s work over at nflpenalties.com). Gary Gramling, SI.com, "Josh Rosen’s Monkey’s Paw, Replacing the NFL Draft With Something Better, Penalty Flags Forever," 22 Sep. 2019 The center and two-time captain was on the practice field helping out his fellow offensive linemen during an early drill in the team’s full-padded practice. Jim Mcbride, BostonGlobe.com, "Tom Brady ready for 20th NFL season: ‘To still be doing it is something that I treasure’," 4 Sep. 2019 More than 740,000 Rohingya were forced to flee to neighboring Bangladesh during a military offensive in 2017. Laignee Barron, Time, "U.N.'s Top Court Orders Myanmar to Take All Measures to Prevent Genocide Against Rohingya," 23 Jan. 2020 Hifter launched a surprise military offensive last April 4 aimed at capturing Tripoli despite commitments to attend a national conference weeks later aimed at forming a united government and moving toward elections. Washington Post, "UN welcomes commitments toward Libya peace, urges cease-fire," 22 Jan. 2020

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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Time Traveler for offensive

Time Traveler

The first known use of offensive was circa 1564

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Statistics for offensive

Last Updated

13 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Offensive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/offensive. Accessed 23 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for offensive

offensive

adjective
How to pronounce offensive (audio) How to pronounce offensive (audio)

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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