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  1. causing no harm, trouble, or annoyance: a mild, inoffensive man.
  2. not objectionable, as to the senses: an inoffensive odor.
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Origin of inoffensive

First recorded in 1590–1600; in-3 + offensive
Related formsin·of·fen·sive·ly, adverbin·of·fen·sive·ness, noun

Synonyms for inoffensive

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for inoffensive

pleasant, innocuous, unobtrusive, calm, clean, friendly, humble, innocent, mild, neutral, peaceable, quiet, retiring, safe, unobjectionable, innoxious

Examples from the Web for inoffensive

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Historical Examples of inoffensive

British Dictionary definitions for inoffensive


  1. not giving offence; unobjectionable
  2. not unpleasant, poisonous, or harmful
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Derived Formsinoffensively, adverbinoffensiveness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for inoffensive


1590s, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + offensive. Related: Inoffensively; inoffensiveness.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper