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

Henry is now featured in the same offense — former L.A. Rams offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur is now running the show — that helped Todd Gurley become a fantasy superstar last season. Eddie Brown, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Fantasy Football 2018: Tennessee Titans Preview," 13 July 2018 Fant is an offensive coordinator’s dream and a defensive coordinator’s nightmare. 2. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, "The 10 best tight ends in college football," 13 July 2018 This really has nothing to do with Jones, and everything to do with Steve Sarkisian being the offensive coordinator in Atlanta. Charles Curtis, For The Win, "10 fantasy football potential busts we're irrationally nervous about in 2018," 12 July 2018 Included in that group will be the Gators' first-year head coach in Dan Mullen, who served as the team's offensive coordinator during that title run. Jordan Mcpherson, miamiherald, "This is how the Florida Gators plan to honor their 2008 national championship team," 11 July 2018 New offensive coordinator Ty Helton’s scheme worked to great success at USC and Stanford graduate transfer Keller Chryst may be the favorite to win the job, but the competition remains open. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "How Kentucky football can win (or lose) against Tennessee in 2018," 11 July 2018 The coach, entering his second season with the Falcons, worked as an analyst, then offensive coordinator for Alabama after leaving USC. Nathan Fenno, latimes.com, "Steve Sarkisian won't fight on after former USC football coach loses dispute over firing," 10 July 2018 What could truly be an exciting food scene is made ridiculous by staff casting that is simply offensive. Dream Hampton, Bon Appetit, "Flowers of Vietnam Is As Detroit As It Gets," 6 June 2018 The inclusion of Bronico and Aleksandar Katai in the second half gave the Fire some offensive life, as the visiting side come close to evening the score on a couple of occasions early on in the second half. Juan Pimiento, chicagotribune.com, "10-man Chicago Fire drop their 3rd straight against FC Dallas," 14 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Government forces launched an offensive to recapture southwest Syria and the areas neighboring Jordan and Israel on June 19. Washington Post, "Syrian government raises its flag over cradle of 2011 revolt," 12 July 2018 An offensive was planned and fighting could start any minute. Mujib Mashal, New York Times, "A Grass-Roots Afghan Peace Movement Grows, Step by Step," 15 June 2018 For years, coalition leaders have clamored for the Pentagon, which already provides intelligence, midair refueling capabilities and munitions to the campaign, to greenlight an offensive for the port. Nabih Bulos, latimes.com, "Saudi-led coalition attacks vital Yemen port held by rebels, raising concerns about humanitarian aid," 13 June 2018 On May 29, President Trump launched an offensive against that plan. Ian Bremmer, Time, "The U.S. Trade War with China Has Reached a Dangerous New Phase," 1 June 2018 The Syrian government, backed by Russia, began an aerial offensive against Eastern Ghouta in February, targeting an area that had been the source of almost daily -- and sometimes deadly -- shelling on Damascus. Bloomberg.com, "Assad Forces Close In on Last Rebel-Held Bastion in Damascus," 26 Mar. 2018 Back in January, Turkey launched an offensive on the Kurds -- which Turkey considers a terrorist group -- in Afrin, Syria. Doug Criss, CNN, "5 things for March 20: Russia probe, Syria & ISIS, self-driving car, Taiwan, Turpins," 20 Mar. 2018 The Europeans are also targets of Mr Trump’s trade offensive. The Economist, "In its trade war with America, China dials down the hype," 12 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

Phrases Related to offensive

on the offensive

take the offensive

Statistics for offensive

Last Updated

9 Oct 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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WORD OF THE DAY

evasion of direct action or statement

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