9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[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
  • In the absence of such specificity, there is no offense.
  • His football team is good at offense and at punting, but pathetic at defense.
  • Bones can be controversial, because indigenous people may take offense to excavation.
  • He paused and looked at the handle, as if to imagine the nature of the offense.
  • Shover received the felony charge as this was his fifth retail theft offense.
  • In addition, those who provide false information when registering a domain name could also be charged with a federal offense.
  • They were polyester, green polyester, and the members of the hiring committee considered that a serious offense.
  • Soon it could be you, because of some casual online comment that gives offense.
  • With no offense intended, this reply is to the complaint department, if there ever was one.
  • The first is the defense and the second is the offense and this will be evidence for political conflict.
British Dictionary definitions for offense


a violation or breach of a law, custom, rule, etc
  1. any public wrong or crime
  2. a nonindictable crime punishable on summary conviction
annoyance, displeasure, or resentment
give offence, give offence to someone, to cause annoyance or displeasure to someone
take offence, to feel injured, humiliated, or offended
a source of annoyance, displeasure, or anger
attack; assault
(archaic) injury or harm
(American football) the offense (ˈɒfɛns)
  1. the team that has possession of the ball
  2. the members of a team that play in such circumstances
Derived Forms
offenceless, (US) offenseless, adjective
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
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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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