Meanwhile, they had suddenly dropped their fusils, which immediately resumed their unoffensive position in the shoulder belt.
"attacking" (1540s), "insulting" (1570s), both from Middle French offensif (16c.) and directly from Medieval Latin offensivus, from Latin offens-, past participle stem of offendere "offend" (see offend). Related: Offensively; offensiveness.
"condition of attacking, aggressive action," 1720, from offensive (adj.).