Definitions for offensiveəˈfɛn sɪv or, for 4,5 , ˈɔ fɛn-, ˈɒf ɛn-

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word offensive

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

of•fen•sive*əˈfɛn sɪv or, for 4,5 , ˈɔ fɛn-, ˈɒf ɛn-(adj.)

  1. causing resentful displeasure; highly irritating or annoying.

  2. unpleasant or disagreeable to the sense; disgusting.

  3. repugnant to the moral sense, good taste, or the like; repulsive.

  4. pertaining to offense or attack.

  5. characterized by attack; aggressive:

    offensive warfare.

  6. (n.)the position or attitude of aggression or attack:

    to take the offensive.

  7. an aggressive movement or attack.

* Syn: See hateful.

Origin of offensive:

1540–50; < ML offēnsīvus


Princeton's WordNet

  1. offense, offence, offensive(adj)

    the action of attacking an enemy

  2. offensive, violative(adj)

    violating or tending to violate or offend against

    "violative of the principles of liberty"; "considered such depravity offensive against all laws of humanity"

  3. offensive(adj)

    for the purpose of attack rather than defense

    "offensive weapons"

  4. offensive(adj)

    causing anger or annoyance

    "offensive remarks"

  5. unsavory, unsavoury, offensive(adj)

    morally offensive

    "an unsavory reputation"; "an unsavory scandal"

  6. offensive(adj)

    unpleasant or disgusting especially to the senses

    "offensive odors"

  7. dysphemistic, offensive(adj)

    substitute a harsher or distasteful term for a mild one

    "`nigger' is a dysphemistic term for `African-American'"

  8. nauseating, nauseous, noisome, queasy, loathsome, offensive, sickening, vile(adj)

    causing or able to cause nausea

    "a nauseating smell"; "nauseous offal"; "a sickening stench"

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. offensive(adjective)əˈfɛn sɪv or, for 4,5, ˈɔ fɛn-, ˈɒf ɛn-

    ≠ inoffensive

    I found her remarks incredibly offensive.; Do you think the movie is offensive to women?

  2. offensiveəˈfɛn sɪv or, for 4,5, ˈɔ fɛn-, ˈɒf ɛn-

    ≠ defensive

    an offensive play

  3. offensiveəˈfɛn sɪv or, for 4,5, ˈɔ fɛn-, ˈɒf ɛn-

    ≠ defensive

    offensive arms/weapons


  1. offensive(Noun)

    An attack.

    The Marines today launched a major offensive.

  2. offensive(Noun)

    The posture of attacking or being able to attack.

    He took the offensive in the press, accusing his opponent of corruption.

  3. offensive(Adjective)

    Causing offense; arousing a visceral reaction of disgust, anger, or hatred

    Some feminists find pornography offensive.

  4. offensive(Adjective)

    Relating to an offense or attack, as opposed to defensive.

    The army's offensive capabilities. An offensive weapon.

  5. offensive(Adjective)

    Having to do with play directed at scoring.

    The offensive coordinator is responsible for ordering all rushing plays.

  6. Origin: From offensif, from as if *, from offendere, past participle offensus; see offend.

Translations for offensive

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary



offensive remarks.

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