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or offence

[uh-fens or for 7–9, aw-fens, of-ens] /əˈfɛns or for 7–9, ˈɔ fɛns, ˈɒf ɛns/
a violation or breaking of a social or moral rule; transgression; sin.
a transgression of the law; misdemeanor.
a cause of transgression or wrong.
something that offends or displeases.
the act of offending or displeasing.
the feeling of resentful displeasure caused:
to give offense.
the act of attacking; attack or assault:
weapons of offense.
a person, army, etc., that is attacking.
  1. the players or team unit responsible for attacking or scoring in a game.
  2. the players possessing or controlling the ball, puck, etc., or the aspects or period of a game when this obtains.
  3. a pattern or style of scoring attack:
    single-wing offense; fast-break offense.
  4. offensive effectiveness; ability to score:
    a total breakdown in offense.
Archaic. injury, harm, or hurt.
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 forms
self-offense, noun
1, 2. trespass, felony, fault. See crime. 6. umbrage, resentment, wrath, indignation. 7. aggression. 8. besiegers, attackers, enemy, foe.
6. pleasure. 7. defense. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for offense
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I am not informed that any objection was made to it, or that it was regarded as an offense.

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

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
  • Men who had committed some offense were compelled to pull weeds and sweep the streets clean.

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

    Louisiana Lou William West Winter
  • If this be her first offense she may betray herself by an agitated manner.

    The Court Jester Cornelia Baker
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
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Idioms and Phrases with offense


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