What does offensive mean?

Definitions for offensive
əˈfɛn sɪv or, for 4,5 , ˈɔ fɛn-, ˈɒf ɛn-of·fen·sive

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word offensive.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. offense, offence, offensiveadjective

    the action of attacking an enemy

  2. offensive, violativeadjective

    violating or tending to violate or offend against

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

  3. offensiveadjective

    for the purpose of attack rather than defense

    "offensive weapons"

  4. offensiveadjective

    causing anger or annoyance

    "offensive remarks"

  5. unsavory, unsavoury, offensiveadjective

    morally offensive

    "an unsavory reputation"; "an unsavory scandal"

  6. offensiveadjective

    unpleasant or disgusting especially to the senses

    "offensive odors"

  7. dysphemistic, offensiveadjective

    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, vileadjective

    causing or able to cause nausea

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


  1. offensivenoun

    An attack.

    The Marines today launched a major offensive.

  2. offensivenoun

    The posture of attacking or being able to attack.

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

  3. offensiveadjective

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

    Some feminists find pornography offensive.

  4. offensiveadjective

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

    The army's offensive capabilities. An offensive weapon.

  5. offensiveadjective

    Having to do with play directed at scoring.

    The offensive coordinator is responsible for ordering all rushing plays.

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

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Offensiveadjective

    Etymology: offensif, Fr. from offensus, Lat.

    Since no man can do ill with a good conscience, the consolation which we herein seem to find is but a meer deceitful pleasing of ourselves in error, which at the length must needs turn to our greater grief, if that which we do to please God most, be for the manifold defects thereof offensive unto him. Richard Hooker, b. v. s. 4.

    It shall suffice, to touch such customs of the Irish as seem offensive and repugnant to the good government of the realm. Edmund Spenser, on Ireland.

    It is an excellent opener for the liver, but offensive to the stomach. Francis Bacon, Nat. Hist.

    Some particular acrimony in the stomach sometimes makes it offensive, and which custom at last will overcome. Arbuth.

    He recounted the benefits and favours that he had done him, in provoking a mighty and opulent king by an offensive war in his quarrel. Francis Bacon.

    We enquire concerning the advantages and disadvantages betwixt those military offensive engines used among the ancients, and those of these latter ages. John Wilkins.


  1. offensive

    Offensive refers to something that is disagreeable, unpleasant, insulting, or causing discomfort or resentment due to its inappropriate, disrespectful, or hurtful nature. Often associated with behavior, actions, language, or content, it can cause anger or annoyance and may be considered unacceptable or objectionable by societal norms or personal beliefs. Additionally, in a military context, offensive can refer to an aggressive action or attack against an enemy.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. offensive

    Used in attack; assailant; opposed to defensive; as, an offensive weapon or engine. Making the first attack; assailant; invading: opposed to defensive; as, an offensive war.

How to pronounce offensive?

How to say offensive in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of offensive in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of offensive in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of offensive in a Sentence

  1. Homer:

    It is equally offensive to speed a guest who would like to stay and to detain one who is anxious to leave.

  2. Lois McGinnis:

    She said our ad did not run because it contained an offensive word, i asked what that offensive word was and she said the offensive word was ‘Christian.’.

  3. Paul Gruchow:

    It is one thing to decry the rat race...that is the good and honorable work of moralists. It is quite another thing to quit the rat race, to drop out, to refuse to run any further--that is the work of the individualist. It is offensive because it is impolite it makes the rebuke personal the individualist calls not his or her behavior into question, but mine.

  4. Baron Manfred von Richthofen ("Red Baron"):

    The aggressive spirit, the offensive, is the chief thing everywhere in war, and the air is no exception.

  5. Bertrand Russell:

    A sense of duty is useful in work, but offensive in personal relations. People wish to be liked, not be endured with patient resignation.

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Translations for offensive

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • هجومArabic
  • ата́ка, на́ступ, абра́злівыBelarusian
  • обиден, оскърбителенBulgarian
  • ofensiva, ofensiuCatalan, Valencian
  • urážlivý, útok, ofenzívaCzech
  • offensivDanish
  • Offensive, beleidigend, offensivGerman
  • επιθετικός, προσβλητικόςGreek
  • ofensivo, ofensivaSpanish
  • hyökkäyskanta, offensiivi, hyökkäys, pysyä hyökkäyskannalla, hyökkäys-, päällekäyvä, hyökkääväFinnish
  • offensif, offensant, offensiveFrench
  • oilbheumachScottish Gaelic
  • अपमानजनकHindi
  • offensiveIgbo
  • offensivo, offensivaItalian
  • 攻撃側, 攻撃的, 気に障る, 攻勢, 攻撃Japanese
  • 공세Korean
  • pūraurau, weriweri, koeo, mataharehare, hākikiMāori
  • beledigend, offensief, aanvallend, aanval, klaar om aan te vallen, inval, walgelijk, weerzinwekkendDutch
  • ofensywa, atak, obraźliwyPolish
  • ofensivo, ofensivaPortuguese
  • ofensant, ofensivă, ofensantă, atacRomanian
  • наступательный, наступле́ние, оскорбительный, обидный, ата́каRussian
  • ofanziva, офанзиваSerbo-Croatian
  • stötande, offensiv, anstötligSwedish
  • น่ารังเกียจThai
  • ата́ка, на́ступ, обра́зливийUkrainian

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"offensive." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 1 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/offensive>.

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    pose a threat to; present a danger to
    • A. adventure
    • B. fudge
    • C. jeopardize
    • D. interrupt

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