- causing resentful displeasure; highly irritating, angering, or annoying: offensive television commercials.
- unpleasant or disagreeable to the sense: an offensive odor.
- repugnant to the moral sense, good taste, or the like; insulting: an offensive remark; an offensive joke.
- pertaining to offense or attack: the offensive movements of their troops.
- characterized by attack; aggressive: offensive warfare.
- the position or attitude of aggression or attack: to take the offensive.
- an aggressive movement or attack: a carefully planned naval offensive.
Origin of offensive
SynonymsSee more synonyms for offensive on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for offensive
There is no such thing as speech so hateful or offensive it somehow “justifies” or “legitimizes” the use of violence.Trolls and Martyrdom: Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie
January 9, 2015
After all, the Russians were about to mount a winter offensive of their own.Hitler’s Hail Mary
James A. Warren
December 20, 2014
Seeking to be celebrated for simply hiring a woman is tokenizing and offensive.Wonder Woman Takes a Big Step Back
December 16, 2014
Both Republican policies and offensive statements made by some GOP politicians have had a hand in this.The Republican Rainbow Coalition Is Real
November 18, 2014
Minaj further mystifies her motives by layering these terrifying, offensive visual cues with her own totally incongruous lyrics.Nicki Minaj’s ‘Only’ Lyrics Video Is Like a Loose Adaptation of ‘Mein Kampf’ ft. Drake
November 10, 2014
But it is offensive to man, insulting to the atmosphere, and destructive of him who uses it.The Call of the Twentieth Century
David Starr Jordan
But for the most part one side in battle is on the offensive; the other on the defensive.
After much exercitation the Germans determined to adhere to the offensive.
Discredited by lapse of time and offensive to the popular taste, as an old book.
Of all unbeautiful and inappropriate conceptions this is the most reasonless and offensive.
- unpleasant or disgusting, as to the senses
- causing anger or annoyance; insulting
- for the purpose of attack rather than defence
- the offensive an attitude or position of aggression
- an assault, attack, or military initiative, esp a strategic one
Word Origin and History for offensive
"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.).