Definition of offence in English:

offence

(US offense)

noun

  • 1A breach of a law or rule; an illegal act.

    ‘the new offence of obtaining property by deception’
    • ‘It is also clear that the charge of assault against the second applicant is an offence under the criminal law as well as under the Prison Rules.’
    • ‘The original version of the bill would have made an immigration violation a felony offense.’
    • ‘The number of juveniles arrested for drug-related offenses has increased 80 percent in the last seven years.’
    • ‘What about offences against the state and against the administration of justice?’
    • ‘Both stand accused of plunder, an offense punishable by death.’
    • ‘It is the essence of offences against the person that what is done is done unlawfully.’
    • ‘Police may call it the fineable offence of contravening traffic rules, but it is the order of the day among minibus drivers.’
    • ‘Both women were convicted of minor nonviolent drug offenses.’
    • ‘Another 1995 law made the laundering of money from drug trafficking a serious criminal offense.’
    • ‘An offence of indecent assault, since 1985, carries a maximum sentence of 10 years.’
    • ‘In that case the applicant had been convicted of offences of indecent assault.’
    • ‘Beginning in 2009, adults arrested for any felony offense are subject to DNA collection.’
    • ‘In this way the defendant consumed the criminal offence of premeditated murder.’
    • ‘The skewness of the perceived severity distribution for each felony drug offense was examined.’
    • ‘Offences against the laws governing political parties are not punishable as a criminal offence, but can incur painful financial sanctions.’
    • ‘The nation's legal nightmare around non-violent drug offenses is the primary cross he bears.’
    • ‘But the case was abandoned Thursday after magistrates found he had not committed a criminal offense.’
    • ‘These, in the main, are young people committing offences against other young people.’
    • ‘It held such crimes to be offences against the law of nations, much as was the traditional crime of piracy.’
    • ‘Singapore still considers graffiti an offense punishable by flogging.’
    crime, illegal act, unlawful act, misdemeanour, breach of the law, infraction of the law, violation of the law, felony, wrongdoing, wrong, act of misconduct, misdeed, delinquency, peccadillo, sin, transgression, infringement, act of dereliction, shortcoming, fault, lapse
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A thing that constitutes a violation of what is judged to be right or natural.
      ‘the outcome is an offence to basic justice’
      • ‘The scorning of the tribes is an offense to the natural order in the minds of many there.’
      • ‘So abusing the Quran is a hideous offense to Muslims more than the same abuse of a Bible would be to Christians.’
      • ‘In those buried and bygone days, it was an affront and an offense to join with separatists to defeat a corrupt government.’
      • ‘To try to impose on others by violent means what we consider to be the truth is an offence against human dignity.’
      • ‘War is a crime against humanity and an offence against God.’
  • 2[mass noun] Annoyance or resentment brought about by a perceived insult to or disregard for oneself.

    ‘he made it clear he'd taken offence’
    ‘I didn't intend to give offence’
    • ‘Carolingian rule and culture were familiar in many ways; it was its flavour of high-handedness and moral urgency that might give offence to the inhabitants of Italy.’
    • ‘This guy heard what I said and must have taken offence.’
    • ‘They were not amused by the spoof - and McDonald's finished up saying it meant no offense.’
    • ‘He's also painfully anxious not to give offence, and you wonder if he's almost too nice for his own good.’
    • ‘‘The argument then was that to allow this element would give offence to people of other faiths,’ wrote Torrance.’
    • ‘Last time Clark commented on Tamihere she said that he meant no offense.’
    • ‘For language, I'd almost always leave it in, unless it was something that would clearly give offense.’
    • ‘And when I say that, please understand I mean no offense to the ghost of the 70s comedian.’
    • ‘Workers will have to think twice before telling insensitive jokes or expressing intolerant views which may give offence.’
    • ‘Look, if it caused any anger or upset and in some way got the candidate off-message for the past couple of days of the campaign, I meant no offense.’
    • ‘Is the make of car he drives likely to cause offence?’
    • ‘Paramilitary flags or slogans and monuments do give offence to visitors and to different sectors of society.’
    • ‘As a middle-aged freedom fighter, I've always taken offense at this notion.’
    • ‘Instead of sounding out ideas in order to judge them critically, academics seem only too happy to silence debate in case it causes insult or offence to individuals.’
    • ‘I ask the Minister to stand and withdraw that remark about the point that the member has taken offence to.’
    • ‘I have taken offence to the statement that a lie was told, and I ask for it to be withdrawn and apologised for.’
    • ‘A demonstration may annoy or give offence to persons opposed to the ideas of claims that it is seeking to promote.’
    • ‘Video game developers counter that no offense is intended.’
    • ‘We can assure you that no offense was ever intended.’
    • ‘I saw the person who is alleged to have taken offense on the tram a few days later, and she seemed fine.’
    • ‘I wanted to put all your minds at rest - my wife reads my article each week and has not taken offence (so far, anyway).’
    be offended, feel offended, take exception, take something personally, be aggrieved, feel aggrieved, be affronted, feel affronted, take something amiss, take umbrage, be upset, feel upset, get upset, be annoyed, feel annoyed, get annoyed, be angry, feel angry, get angry, be indignant, feel indignant, be put out, feel put out, be insulted, feel insulted, be hurt, feel hurt, be wounded, feel wounded, feel piqued, be resentful, feel resentful, be disgruntled, feel disgruntled, get into a huff, go into a huff, get huffy
    be miffed, feel miffed, have one's nose put out of joint, be riled, feel riled
    get the hump
    annoyance, anger, resentment, indignation, irritation, exasperation, wrath, displeasure, disapproval, dislike, bad feelings, hard feelings, ill feelings, disgruntlement, animosity, pique, vexation, umbrage, antipathy, aversion, opposition, enmity
    View synonyms
  • 3[mass noun] The action of attacking someone or something.

    [as modifier] ‘reductions in strategic offence arsenals’
    • ‘It is more of a defense and offense attack combined.’
    • ‘He had been facing sex offence charges against young girls at the time Rory disappeared last month.’
    • ‘On Tuesday a bench warrant was issued for his arrest at Limerick District Court when he failed to appear to face two public order offence charges.’
    • ‘As the offense team monitored the threat rings we were flying through, the copilot saw a missile at our 4 o'clock.’
    • ‘And these are the offense football teams that quickly do damage to anything and everything in their path.’
    • ‘She said Seamus was known to police in Middleton and Rochdale and had been due to appear in court to face motor offence charges.’
    • ‘The doctor had skipped bail on sex offence charges and Melville nabbed him while on port watch for the Special Branch in Le Havre.’
    • ‘Convictions for both groups were coded using New Zealand Police offence codes.’
    • ‘Three of the staff, two women and a man, were arrested and given a police caution for offence - which means they admitted their guilt.’
    • ‘But for every feint that was ignored, for every offense move that was countered, Tiana dealt equally.’
    attack, offensive, assault, act of aggression, aggression, onslaught, thrust, charge, sortie, sally, invasion, incursion, foray
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1North American The attacking team or players in a sport, especially in American football.
      ‘he is a wide receiver, playing on offense’
      • ‘Most importantly, they kept the high-octane Kansas City offense off the field.’
      • ‘A first down is achieved when the offense has moved the ball ten yards from its previous spot.’
      • ‘On the other hand, the Colts are a much-improved team with a very potent offense.’
      • ‘They are so bad their offense has 18 false-start penalties in six games.’
      • ‘The offense struggled to sustain drives last year and must get better on third down.’
      • ‘They'll have to be to keep Florida's dangerous offense off the field.’
      • ‘The game started with both offenses moving the ball well only to have field goal attempts sail wide.’
      • ‘If the Eagles keep both of their second-round picks, they could go for skill players on offense.’
      • ‘The team will need contributions from some of its younger players on offense.’
      • ‘First, it brings back a productive player on a young offense that needs playmakers.’
      • ‘But he remains an integral part of one of the NFL's most potent offenses.’
      • ‘Wayne will bring adequate size and a polished game to one of the league's most potent offenses.’
      • ‘In the second half of the game the New England offense had the ball for over 21 of the 30 minutes in the second half.’
      • ‘That doesn't bode well for a team whose offense is predicated on running with George.’
      • ‘Saban will miss quarterback Matt Mauck and the other playmakers on offense who graduated.’
      • ‘The rest of the players on offense had to adjust to the change in personality under center.’
      • ‘He is as automatic as it gets in the league and as much of a weapon as any player on offense.’
      • ‘Michael, being wide receiver of the offense, had scored four touchdowns.’
      • ‘The problem with Tampa Bay's offense is it lacks the team speed to be effective.’
      • ‘The Chargers would like another big run stuffer on defense and a versatile player on offense.’

Phrases

  • no offence

    • informal Do not be offended.

      ‘OK, lady, no offence, just shooting my mouth off as usual’
      • ‘There is such a thing as ‘bad’ poetry, and, no offense, but I've read a fair it of it on here.’
      • ‘This is just a gentle reminder of course, no offence.’
      • ‘He says, ‘Look, no offence, but I don't know you, I can't risk my story.’’
      • ‘He is, however - no offense, Mark - not the most charismatic guy around.’
      • ‘Well, no offense, but if that is the case, then I want my money back.’
      • ‘Yes, I'd even say it has the edge over London - no offense of course.’
      • ‘Kat, no offense or anything, but how do you think this works?’
      • ‘It was a surprise to say the least - no offence to her or anything.’
      • ‘And they're very raunchy and loud and that's just my opinion so, please, no offense.’
      • ‘I'm not trying to be mean or anything, it's just that… well, no offense, but you suck.’

Origin

Late Middle English: from Old French offens misdeed, from Latin offensus annoyance, reinforced by French offense, from Latin offensa a striking against, a hurt, or displeasure; based on Latin offendere strike against.

Pronunciation:

offence

/əˈfɛns/