Dictionary.com

offensive

[ uh-fen-siv or, for 4, 5, aw-fen-, of-en- ]
/ əˈfɛn sɪv or, for 4, 5, ˈɔ fɛn-, ˈɒf ɛn- /
Save This Word!
See synonyms for: offensive / offensively / offensiveness on Thesaurus.com

adjective
noun
the position or attitude of aggression or attack: to take the offensive.
an aggressive movement or attack: a carefully planned naval offensive.

OTHER WORDS FOR offensive

1 displeasing, vexatious, vexing, unpleasant.
4 invading, attacking.
QUIZ
QUIZ YOURSELF ON AFFECT VS. EFFECT!
In effect, this quiz will prove whether or not you have the skills to know the difference between “affect” and “effect.”
Question 1 of 7
The rainy weather could not ________ my elated spirits on my graduation day.
Meet Grammar CoachWrite or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing
Meet Grammar CoachImprove Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help

Origin of offensive

1540–50; from Medieval Latin offēnsīvus, equivalent to Latin offēns(us), past participle of offendere (see offend) + -īvus -ive

synonym study for offensive

1. See hateful.

usage note for offensive

The label Offensive is used in this dictionary to indicate that a particular term or definition is likely to be perceived as insulting by a listener or reader—an affront to that particular individual or to an entire group of like individuals—whether or not an offense was intended. Offensive is often paired with the label Disparaging, which is used to indicate that those people who use the offensive term do so to offend intentionally.

OTHER WORDS FROM offensive

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use offensive in a sentence

  • Meanwhile, they had suddenly dropped their fusils, which immediately resumed their unoffensive position in the shoulder belt.

British Dictionary definitions for offensive

offensive
/ (əˈfɛnsɪv) /

adjective
unpleasant or disgusting, as to the senses
causing anger or annoyance; insulting
for the purpose of attack rather than defence
noun
the offensive an attitude or position of aggression
an assault, attack, or military initiative, esp a strategic one

Derived forms of offensive

offensively, adverboffensiveness, 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
FEEDBACK