offensive

[ uh-fen-siv or for 4, 5, aw-fen-, of-en- ]
/ əˈfɛn sɪv or for 4, 5, ˈɔ fɛn-, ˈɒf ɛn- /

adjective

noun

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

Nearby words

  1. offend,
  2. offender,
  3. offending,
  4. offense,
  5. offenseless,
  6. offensively,
  7. offer,
  8. offer document,
  9. offer price,
  10. offering

Origin of offensive

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

SYNONYMS FOR offensive
1. displeasing, vexatious, vexing, unpleasant. See hateful. 2, 3. distasteful, disgusting, revolting, repellent. 3. repulsive, shocking. 4. invading, attacking.

Related forms

Usage note

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 used to indicate that those people who use the offensive term do so to offend intentionally.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for unoffensive

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



British Dictionary definitions for unoffensive

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 Formsoffensively, 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

Word Origin and History for unoffensive
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper