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

And the pores themselves are less offensive than the blackheads that live rent-free in their depths. Mattie Kahn, Glamour, "I Regret to Inform You Vintner’s Daughter Is Totally Worth It," 24 Apr. 2019 And if people weren’t in my immediate circle, like family and very few friends, people didn’t know about it, so people sometimes would make comments that were very offensive. Rainesford Stauffer, WSJ, "For Ballet’s Foremost #MeToo Accuser, a Second Act," 22 Feb. 2019 For the record, the totally baseless and offensive claims made against me today on social media are completely false. NBC News, "NFL player LeSean McCoy's estranged ex-girlfriend attacked during home invasion," 11 July 2018 Managing the psych-out battle of where the next shot will go with your own return positioning while balancing the offensive and defensive potential of your power meter is a heady mix that requires intense focus. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Mario Tennis Aces review: Turning tennis into a fighting game," 22 June 2018 Dave Warner and Jim Bollman, who had been co-offensive coordinators, were reassigned. Noah Trister, The Seattle Times, "Michigan St coaching shuffle won’t ease scrutiny on offense," 12 Apr. 2019 Christopher, of course, committed to Michigan last summer and is still part of the Wolverines' 2019 class as a defensive end/offensive tackle prospect. Nick Baumgardner, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football in top 5 for 5-star Georgia OT Myles Hinton (2020)," 3 July 2018 After spending a suns-out-buns-out weekend at Coachella, YouTuber James Charles is facing serious heat from his fans after making an offensive comment about transgender men. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "James Charles Addresses Ignorant Comment About Transgender Men After Facing Backlash," 19 Apr. 2019 Henry did his best Draymond Green impression as the do-it-all 6-foot-6 forward was all over the offensive end of the floor. Stephen Whyno, The Seattle Times, "Freshmen lead Michigan State past LSU and into Elite Eight," 30 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The Spartans were held without a TD in three of their final four games, and that doesn’t include another poor offensive showing in a 21-7 loss to Michigan in October. Noah Trister, The Seattle Times, "Michigan St coaching shuffle won’t ease scrutiny on offense," 12 Apr. 2019 Intelligence reports suggest the attacks could be both military offensives against entire districts, and suicide bombings that could target the cities. Najim Rahim, New York Times, "As Afghan Cease-Fire Ends, Temporary Friends Hug, Then Return to War," 17 June 2018 Like many other Pakistani militants, Khorasani had crossed into Afghanistan after the Pakistani army launched a major military offensive in the Swat Valley in 2009. NBC News, "Leader of Pakistani Taliban killed by U.S. drone strike, Afghanistan say," 15 June 2018 My dad served in most every major military offensive starting after 1990, and was the recipient of numerous awards and decorations. Keely Quinlan, Teen Vogue, "Memorial Day Feels Different When Your Parent Died in Service," 25 May 2018 Syrian President Bashar Assad vowed on Sunday to continue with the military offensive in eastern Ghouta, saying the humanitarian pause would continue, allowing any civilians wishing to leave to do so. Bloomberg.com, "Aid Convoy Enters Besieged Rebel-Held Damascus Suburbs," 5 Mar. 2018 Election Losses The decision by Democrats to take the offensive on health care marks a switch in tactics from 2010, when the party lost 64 seats and the House majority after passing the Affordable Care Act. Bloomberg.com, "Democrats Aim to Turn Obamacare Into Asset From Burden in 2018," 6 Apr. 2018 An Austrian soldier trained headquarters troops from Burkina Faso on the mechanics of running offensives. Joe Parkinson, WSJ, "In West Africa, Violent Extremism Spreads as U.S. Trims Military Footprint," 24 Feb. 2019 Instead, Wolfe focuses on science as propaganda, part of America’s psychological offensive designed to convince people to buy into American ideology. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "Cold War propaganda spread the myth that science isn’t political," 11 Dec. 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

22 May 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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