offensive

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle French offensif, from Medieval Latin offensivus, from Latin offendere (to offend), past participle offensus; see offend.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

offensive (comparative more offensive, superlative most offensive)

  1. Causing offense; arousing a visceral reaction of disgust, anger, or hatred.
    Some feminists find pornography offensive.
  2. Relating to an offense or attack, as opposed to defensive.
    • 2013 June 7, Ed Pilkington, “‘Killer robots’ should be banned in advance, UN told”, The Guardian Weekly, volume 188, number 26, page 6: 
      In his submission to the UN, [Christof] Heyns points to the experience of drones. Unmanned aerial vehicles were intended initially only for surveillance, and their use for offensive purposes was prohibited, yet once strategists realised their perceived advantages as a means of carrying out targeted killings, all objections were swept out of the way.
    The army's offensive capabilities. An offensive weapon.
  3. (team sports) Having to do with play directed at scoring.
    The offensive coordinator is responsible for ordering all rushing plays.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Nouns to which "offensive" is often applied: content, material, language, word, comment, remark, statement, speech, joke, humor, image, picture, art, behavior, conduct, act, action.
  • When the second syllable is emphasized, "offensive" is defined as "insulting". When the first syllable is emphasized, it refers to the attacker of a conflict or the team in a sport who possesses the ball.

Synonyms[edit]

  • invidious (Intending to cause envious offense)

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

offensive (countable and uncountable, plural offensives)

  1. (countable, military) An attack.
    The Marines today launched a major offensive.
  2. (uncountable) The posture of attacking or being able to attack.
    He took the offensive in the press, accusing his opponent of corruption.

Translations[edit]

External links[edit]


French[edit]

Adjective[edit]

offensive

  1. feminine form of offensif

Noun[edit]

offensive f (plural offensives)

  1. An offensive (military attack).

External links[edit]


German[edit]

Adjective[edit]

offensive

  1. inflected form of offensiv

Italian[edit]

Adjective[edit]

offensive f

  1. feminine plural of offensivo

Noun[edit]

offensive f

  1. plural form of offensiva