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

The offensive line was one of those teams’ biggest strengths. Will Larkin, chicagotribune.com, "Ranking the 100 best Bears players ever: No. 83, Zuck Carlson," 15 June 2019 The offensive line was pummeled much of last season, ranking near the bottom of the league in sacks allowed (34) while finishing last in tackles-for-a-loss-allowed after giving up nearly nine per game in 2018. Matt Murschel, orlandosentinel.com, "College Football Rankings: No. 73 Colorado hopes changes at top lead to more wins," 15 June 2019 Auburn now has 10 players committed in the Class of 2020, including four on the offensive line and three wide receivers. Sam Blum | Sblum@al.com, al.com, "Four-star OLB Trenton Simpson commits to Auburn football," 14 June 2019 The rich people of Lafayette probably don’t like the increase in local road traffic driving to BART, and multistory structures might be visually offensive. Maximilian Auffhammer, The Mercury News, "Opinion: Install more parking — not just solar panels — at commuter rail stations," 13 June 2019 This is offensive when people are suffering every day without full access to reproductive care. Dave Quinn, PEOPLE.com, "The Handmaid’s Tale Star Bradley Whitford Calls Kylie Jenner’s Gilead-Themed Party ‘Tacky’," 12 June 2019 Secondhand smoking is offensive to many people, Ward said. Rafael Guerrero, Elgin Courier-News, "South Elgin considering smoking ban in its public parks," 9 June 2019 But its placement is less offensive than a slab on the rear carrier or a big ol’ Bosch tumor bolted onto the down tube. Thomas Ricker, The Verge, "First look: Cowboy proves the e-bikes with removable batteries can be beautiful," 8 June 2019 The offensive highlight was quarterback Joe Flacco’s touchdown bomb (50-55 yards) to receiver Courtland Sutton. Ryan O'halloran, The Denver Post, "Broncos’ Ron Leary glad to be back at his preferred right guard position, and more from Day 2 of minicamp," 5 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Along with Rentz, Smith joins offensive linemen Timothy Lawson, Austin Collins and Kobe Baynes, as well as three-star quarterback Tee Webb as the offensive commits in the class. Cameron Teague Robinson, The Courier-Journal, "Junior college wide receiver Braden Smith commits to Louisville," 17 June 2019 Fighting has raged over the last seven weeks in northwestern Syria as government forces pressed an offensive toward the last rebel stronghold in the country’s eight-year civil war. Washington Post, "Syria insurgents shell government-held rural Aleppo, kill 12," 17 June 2019 The offensive by Americans in June and July of 1944 to liberate it was long and bloody. Karina Bland, azcentral, "His father wouldn't talk about D-Day. The son had to know the story," 16 June 2019 Already a part-time defensive player, James needed a talent infusion to ensure his final years as an elite offensive power weren’t wasted. Chris Mannix, SI.com, "The Anthony Davis Trade Is a Win for Rob Pelinka, LeBron and the Lakers," 15 June 2019 Those public offensives were largely ignored by Washington, though Mr. Trump has reacted to North Korean state media in the past. Timothy W. Martin, WSJ, "North Korea Fires Insults at U.S., Spares Trump," 15 June 2019 Thursday was the latest in a string of recent impressive offensive performances by Blackmon, who has reached base in all 23 of his home games this year. Kyle Newman, The Denver Post, "Charlie Blackmon’s hitting clinic leads Rockies past Padres in series opener," 13 June 2019 But military offensives don’t have a great track record in Mexico. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Military officials recruiting civilians for National Guard in Baja California," 13 June 2019 South Alabama landed verbal commitments from three Mississippi high school offensive linemen following its most recent prospect camp. Creg Stephenson | Cstephenson@al.com, al.com, "Trio of Mississippi linemen commits to South Alabama," 12 June 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

19 Jun 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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