[ uh-fen-siv or, for 4, 5, aw-fen-, of-en- ]
/ əˈfɛn sɪv or, for 4, 5, ˈɔ fɛn-, ˈɒf ɛn- /
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.
SYNONYMS FOR offensive
4 invading, attacking.
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Question 1 of 10
Origin of offensive
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
of·fen·sive·ly, adverbof·fen·sive·ness, nounnon·of·fen·sive, adjectivenon·of·fen·sive·ly, adverb
non·of·fen·sive·ness, nouno·ver·of·fen·sive, adjectiveo·ver·of·fen·sive·ly, adverbo·ver·of·fen·sive·ness, nounpre·of·fen·sive, adjectivepre·of·fen·sive·ly, adverbpre·of·fen·sive·ness, nounqua·si-of·fen·sive, adjectivequa·si-of·fen·sive·ly, adverbsu·per·of·fen·sive, adjective, nounsu·per·of·fen·sive·ly, adverbsu·per·of·fen·sive·ness, nounun·of·fen·sive, adjectiveun·of·fen·sive·ly, adverbun·of·fen·sive·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021
Example sentences from the Web for offensive
Meanwhile, they had suddenly dropped their fusils, which immediately resumed their unoffensive position in the shoulder belt.The Guide of the Desert|Gustave Aimard
British Dictionary definitions for offensive
/ (əˈfɛnsɪv) /
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
Derived forms of offensiveoffensively, 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