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See also: offensé


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Alternative forms[edit]

  • (British, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand standard spelling) offence


From Middle English offence, from Old French offense, from Latin offensa (a striking against; displeasure; injury).


  • IPA(key): /əˈfɛns/
  • (team sports senses, especially in the U.S.): IPA(key): /ˈɔf.ɛns/, /ˈɑf.ɛns/)
  • Hyphenation: of‧fense
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛns


offense (countable and uncountable, plural offenses) (American spelling)

  1. The act of offending.
    1. A crime or sin.
      • 1855, Frederick Douglass, chapter 3, in My Bondage and My Freedom, New York: Miller, Orton and Mulligan:
        The slave fully appreciates the saying, "where ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise." When old master's gestures were violent, ending with a threatening shake of the head, and a sharp snap of his middle finger and thumb, I deemed it wise to keep at a respectable distance from him; for, at such times, trifling faults stood, in his eyes, as momentous offenses; and, having both the power and the disposition, the victim had only to be near him to catch the punishment, deserved or undeserved.
      • 2006, Edwin Black, chapter 2, in Internal Combustion[1]:
        The popular late Middle Ages fictional character Robin Hood, dressed in green to symbolize the forest, dodged fines for forest offenses and stole from the rich to give to the poor. But his appeal was painfully real and embodied the struggle over wood.
    2. An affront, injury, or insult.
  2. The state of being offended or displeased; anger; displeasure.
  3. (team sports) A strategy and tactics employed when in position to score; contrasted with defense.
  4. (team sports) The portion of a team dedicated to scoring when in position to do so; contrasted with defense.



Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

See also[edit]






  1. first-person singular present indicative of offenser
  2. third-person singular present indicative of offenser
  3. first-person singular present subjunctive of offenser
  4. third-person singular present subjunctive of offenser
  5. second-person singular imperative of offenser





  1. vocative masculine singular of offēnsus