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 combination of DeShields, Vandersloot and Quigley is something that any offensive-minded fan should drool over. Kellen Becoats, SI.com, "Chicago Suffers Another Loss to a Potential Contender as Sky Show Limit," 29 June 2019 Can Michigan get in there with top 60 offensive tackle Andrew Gentry or top 100 guard Andrew Raym? Nick Baumgardner, Detroit Free Press, "Ask Nick: On Michigan football recruiting and fair Big Ten divisions," 29 June 2019 The Buckeyes added commitments from cornerback Clark Phillips III to their 2020 class and receiver Jayden Ballard and offensive tackle Ben Christman to their 2021 class. Tim Bielik, cleveland.com, "4-star linebacker Cody Simon commits to Ohio State: Buckeyes football recruiting," 29 June 2019 By far the biggest difference has been the team’s offensive production. Wells Dusenbury, sun-sentinel.com, "Marlins have been one of MLB’s best road teams this month ... At home? That’s another story," 29 June 2019 Despite the Giants’ miserable offensive performance thus far, Bochy said Friday that his primary desire for the second half is to see his starting rotation improve. Kerry Crowley, The Mercury News, "Traditional stats, advanced metrics reveal similar truths about Giants’ woes," 28 June 2019 The Bengals were one of many teams which hired a young offensive coach due to the success of the Rams’ Sean McVay. Jay Brinker, Cincinnati.com, "Guest TML: The midseason awards for 2019 Bengals, Reds, UC, FC Cincinnati, Tiger Woods," 28 June 2019 Juwan Johnson, wide receiver Oregon’s receiver corps was its biggest offensive weakness last season but that shouldn’t be the case again this fall. oregonlive.com, "Oregon MVP 10: Juwan Johnson, the Ducks’ new go-to receiver, is No. 7," 27 June 2019 Quarantines are rare punishments imposed on only the forums Reddit has deemed most offensive or upsetting. Anchorage Daily News, "Pro-Trump message board ‘quarantined’ by Reddit following violent threats," 26 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In 1970, the United States ended a two-month military offensive into Cambodia. BostonGlobe.com, "This day in history," 29 June 2019 For more than a year, Apple avoided major damage from the U.S. trade war with China, thanks in part to a White House charm offensive by Cook. Mark Gurman, Fortune, "Trade War Be Damned, Apple Is Moving Its Mac Pro Production to China," 28 June 2019 For more than a year, Apple avoided major damage from the U.S. trade war with China, thanks in part to a White House charm offensive by Cook. Molly Schuetz And Mark Gurman / Bloomberg, Time, "Apple’s Mac Pro Was its Last Big 'Made in America' Product. Now it's Moving to China," 28 June 2019 For more than a year, Apple avoided major damage from the U.S.-China trade war, thanks in part to a White House charm offensive by Cook. Mark Gurman, latimes.com, "Apple is moving Mac Pro production to China," 28 June 2019 Russia and Turkey reached an agreement in September to create a demilitarized buffer zone in Idlib to forestall a Syrian regime offensive to recapture the northwest province. Raja Abdulrahim, WSJ, "Syrian, Russian Airstrikes Target Rebels in Last Stronghold," 14 Mar. 2019 Expecting a regime offensive imminently, rebels and activists had forced them to leave; but when the attack didn’t materialize, Colvin felt a responsibility to return. Muhammad Idrees Ahmad, The New York Review of Books, "How Assad Made Truth a Casualty of War," 7 Sep. 2018 She is engaged in a charm-offensive with European leaders. The Economist, "What doesn’t kill her makes Theresa May stronger," 12 July 2018 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

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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Learn More about offensive

Dictionary Entries near offensive

offend the eye

offense

offensible

offensive

offer

offerable

offerer

Statistics for offensive

Last Updated

3 Jul 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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