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

All our offensive moments of attacking ended in a foul. SI.com, "West Ham 0-5 Man City: 4 Tactical Learnings From Pep Guardiola's Opening Day Masterclass," 11 Aug. 2019 Smith carried the offensive load for Tompkins, rushing for 2,391 yards and 30 touchdowns on 282 carries, averaging 8.5 yards per attempt. Jack Marrion, Houston Chronicle, "Katy Taylor’s Hay, Tompkins’ Smith among Touchdown Club of Houston all-preseason picks," 11 Aug. 2019 Now an instructor of aikido, a martial art focused on relaxation, Berry has other belts in multiple forms of martial arts, all defensive rather than offensive. Marina Affo, Washington Post, "A Delaware sensei has inspired through the decades," 11 Aug. 2019 On their first offensive possession of the final frame, second-year center Maria Vadeeva finished in traffic while drawing the foul, and her free throw gave Los Angeles a 62-61 lead. Brady Klopfer, Los Angeles Times, "Chelsea Gray makes clutch shots to lead Sparks past Sky," 11 Aug. 2019 Police have arrested more than 500 protesters since early June on charges such as unlawful assembly, possessing offensive weapons, and rioting, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail. Yanan Wang, BostonGlobe.com, "Hong Kong residents increasingly caught in the fray of protests," 10 Aug. 2019 The advantage with a player like Cousins is the outside shot, something that Olynyk and Meyers Leonard also can offer, which meshes with Adebayo's offensive repertoire. Ira Winderman, sun-sentinel.com, "ASK IRA: Is One Last Dance 2.0 on the way?," 10 Aug. 2019 In June, an arrest warrant was issue for offensive tackle Desmond Harrison, who later turned himself into North Carolina authorities on domestic violence assault charges. Bob Mcmanaman, azcentral, "Arizona Cardinals release Darius Philon after reported arrest, incident outside strip club," 10 Aug. 2019 Alvin Kamara will be competing with the Saints’ many other offensive stars for goal-line opportunities. Kevin Cusick, Twin Cities, "The Loop Fantasy Football Preview: Our Favorites," 9 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

First-year Maryland fooball coach Mike Locksley seemed to be waiting for the chance to respond to comments made recently by new Michigan offensive coordinator Josh Gattis about the role Gattis played last season while the two were at Alabama. Don Markus, baltimoresun.com, "Maryland coach Mike Locksley responds to Michigan offensive coordinator’s comments about play-calling at Alabama in 2018," 10 Aug. 2019 Thousands have liked and re-tweeted, including former Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin.. Mark Heim | Mheim@al.com, al, "The story behind Alabama’s Marcus Banks’ emotional - and viral - video of gift honoring late father," 5 Aug. 2019 Ohio State may be a year away, breaking in a new coach in former offensive coordinator Ryan Day and tantalizing Georgia transfer quarterback Justin Fields. Los Angeles Times, "College football 2019: Can anyone beat Alabama and Clemson?," 30 July 2019 Whittingham enters his 15th season as the Utah head coach, and Andy Ludwig will be the ninth different offensive coordinator in the past 11 seasons. Brian Howell, The Denver Post, "CU Buffs football opponent preview: Utah Utes come into season with Pac-12 title aspirations," 14 July 2019 Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson targeted his former offensive coordinator and current Colts coach Frank Reich for a friendly wager at a celebrity golf tournament this weekend. Robby General, Indianapolis Star, "Frank Reich and Eagles coach Doug Pederson wager on golf game for charity," 11 July 2019 Whitworth and Saffold have played in an outside zone scheme the last few years with the Rams, and Long played in that kind of scheme for a few years when Adam Gase was Chicago’s offensive coordinator. Andy Benoit, SI.com, "The NFL All-Over-30 Team," 5 June 2019 Hifter’s sudden military offensive in April caught the international community off guard, coming just as the United Nations was preparing to hold a national conference to reconcile the warring sides and plan elections. Sudarsan Raghavan, Washington Post, "In a city of ever-shifting front lines, Libyans confront their worst fighting in years," 4 June 2019 Smith will be the quarterback’s fourth different offensive coordinator and fifth play-caller heading into this fifth NFL season. Teresa M. Walker, The Seattle Times, "New coordinator, same offense for Marcus Mariota and Titans," 5 Feb. 2019

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

14 Aug 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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