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

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
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective One week after the Indianapolis Colts released Shon Coleman, the former Auburn offensive tackle returned to an NFL roster. Mark Inabinett | Minabinett@al.com, al, 17 May 2022 Sanford Seminole High once again, looking to keep the successful pipeline going with a scholarship offer to 2025 offensive tackle Max Buchanan. Chris Hays, Orlando Sentinel, 17 May 2022 Spring progress: The most interesting development was moving Spencer from tight end to offensive tackle. oregonlive, 16 May 2022 The son of former San Francisco 49ers offensive tackle Derrick Deese Sr., Deese Jr. caught 47 passes for 730 yards last season. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, 13 May 2022 Luke Montgomery leads that group as the nation’s No. 43 player and No. 4 offensive tackle. Stephen Means, cleveland, 9 May 2022 Minnesota’s Daniel Faalele has the power to displace edge defenders as effectively as offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. did in Baltimore. Jonas Shaffer, Baltimore Sun, 3 May 2022 However, Colbert whiffed on an offensive tackle (big need) for the second straight year. Eddie Brown, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 May 2022 Indianapolis took Cincinnati wide receiver Alec Pierce in the second round, Virginia tight end Jelani Woods in the third and Central Michigan offensive tackle Bernhard Raimann in the third. Nate Atkins, The Indianapolis Star, 30 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Through it all, observers are watching to see how China reacts to the United States’ charm offensive over one of its regional trading partners. Michelle Ye Hee Lee, Washington Post, 21 May 2022 But the offensive does now seem to be bearing fruit, with Russian troops advancing behind intense bombardment. Yuliya Talmazan, NBC News, 20 May 2022 Hong Kong CNN Business — China is trying once again to lift the spirits of its huge tech industry after a bruising regulatory offensive that has weakened some of its biggest businesses at a time of stalling economic growth. Laura He, CNN, 18 May 2022 Izium until recently was the locus of Russia’s faltering offensive in Donbas. David Axe, Forbes, 18 May 2022 All day long, the walls of the hospital shake with the thunder of battles raging near Kramatorsk, an industrial city in the Donbas region, where Russian forces have been waging a bloody offensive. New York Times, 18 May 2022 In 2019, Turkey launched a bloody offensive into north-eastern Syria, attacking the YPG and other rebel groups in part due to their PKK ties. David Meyer, Fortune, 17 May 2022 Meanwhile, the British Defense Ministry said Sunday that Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine’s eastern region of Donbas has stalled. Patrick J. Mcdonnell, Los Angeles Times, 15 May 2022 Charlie Burd spearheaded that offensive with a goal and three of his team-high five assists during the frame. Jacob Steinberg, Baltimore Sun, 11 May 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About offensive

Time Traveler for offensive

Time Traveler

The first known use of offensive was circa 1564

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near offensive

offensible

offensive

offer

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for offensive

Last Updated

22 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Offensive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/offensive. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for offensive

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

More from Merriam-Webster on offensive

Nglish: Translation of offensive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of offensive for Arabic Speakers

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