or of·fence

[uh-fens or for 7–9, aw-fens, of-ens]


Origin of offense

1325–75; Middle English offence, offense; in part < Middle French offens < Latin offēnsus collision, knock, equivalent to offend(ere) (see offend) + -tus suffix of v. action; in part < Middle French offenseLatin offēnsa, feminine past participle of offendere
Related formsself-of·fense, noun

Synonyms for offense

1, 2. trespass, felony, fault. 6. umbrage, resentment, wrath, indignation. 7. aggression. 8. besiegers, attackers, enemy, foe.

Synonym study

1, 2. See crime.

Antonyms for offense Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for offense

Contemporary Examples of offense

Historical Examples of offense

  • For there is a play even with most serious things that has in it no offense.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • I had tasted blood of my master's enemies; also Kokomo was afraid, and that is an offense to me.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

  • “Not meaning any offense, it was something like that,” said Sucatash, candidly.

    Louisiana Lou

    William West Winter

  • “The excuse more than condones the offense,” continued the other.

    The Strollers

    Frederic S. Isham

  • "I've said nothing about any offense," he declared, in a hard, deliberate voice.

    The Market-Place

    Harold Frederic

Word Origin and History for offense

late 14c., "hurt, harm, injury, pain," from Old French ofense "offense, insult, wrong" (13c.) and directly from Latin offensa "an offense, injury, affront, crime," literally "a striking against," noun use of fem. past participle of offendere (see offend). Meaning "action of attacking" and "feeling of being hurt" are both first recorded c.1400. Sense of "breach of the law, transgression" is first recorded late 14c. Sporting sense first recorded 1894.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with offense


see no offense; take offense.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.