Definition of offend in US English:

offend

verb

  • 1with object Cause to feel upset, annoyed, or resentful.

    ‘viewers said they had been offended by bad language’
    • ‘I feel rather offended by the suggestion, in fact.’
    • ‘I admit, I was really offended by that last remark.’
    • ‘Aboriginal people are deeply offended by it and that's quite understandable.’
    • ‘However, as it did nothing to either entertain or offend me, I am dismissing this case with prejudice.’
    • ‘She got really offended by the suggestion, " Colleen said.’
    • ‘The piece spends so much time trying to offend nobody and entertain everybody it ends up being completely anodyne.’
    • ‘How, you may wonder, can I possibly offend so many people in a single column?’
    • ‘She told me so, and she made it clear to me that my comments upset and offended her.’
    • ‘I appreciate that this is a very emotive and difficult subject to discuss openly, and I therefore apologise unreservedly if any part of my opinion has upset or offended you.’
    • ‘With regard to the first, if in the course of a discussion an offence is offered, the person who has been offended is the injured party.’
    • ‘If it was any other person, I would have been offended and annoyed that someone should try and exert such force over me.’
    • ‘I am sorry if I have upset or offended anyone that is reading this.’
    • ‘The teams involved said they ‘never set out to upset or offend anyone.’’
    • ‘Would that offend you or hurt you or upset you any more?’
    • ‘I tried to pretend I wasn't offended by his remark.’
    • ‘The unknowing teacher might offend some students and upset others by using the wrong words, tone, or body language.’
    • ‘We too have strong convictions, we too can be offended, insulted and annoyed, and we have to say we're not going to put up with it.’
    • ‘Warning: the following article contains scenes that may shock and offend some people.’
    • ‘She's upset and she's offended that anyone would try to profit from such photos.’
    • ‘People are well within their rights to be offended by such publications.’
    hurt someone's feelings, give offence to, affront, upset, displease, distress, hurt, wound, pain, injure, be an affront to, get someone's back up, put someone's back up, disgruntle, put out, annoy, anger, exasperate, irritate, vex, pique, gall, irk, provoke, rankle with, nettle, needle, peeve, tread on someone's toes, ruffle, ruffle someone's feathers, rub up the wrong way, make someone's hackles rise, insult, humiliate, embarrass, mortify, scandalize, shock, outrage, spite
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    1. 1.1 Be displeasing to.
      ‘he didn't smoke and the smell of ash offended him’
      ‘they must redesign the offending section of road’
      • ‘This provides a lock for those who must use it or simply prefer to use it without offending the sensibilities of those who do not.’
      • ‘Patients identify offending foods by common names such as lobster, as opposed to the species names.’
      • ‘A spokeswoman told the newspaper that offending sections of the site had been removed and apologised for any offence caused.’
      • ‘If your sensibilities are easily offended, you have no business attempting to work in a creative collaborative situation.’
      • ‘He concluded that 52 per cent of sufferers had reported a significant reduction of their symptoms after changing their diet to remove offending foods from their diets.’
      • ‘I must first off say that I am completely offended by your good looks.’
      • ‘They eat seafood and vegetables only; reportedly, the mere smell of pork offends their delicate senses.’
      • ‘But as much as such low-end food might offend my culinary sensibilities, I can drive right by.’
      • ‘Call me rigidly European, but it offends my sense of food order.’
      • ‘Mr Webster cut the oats and other offending foods out of his diet - and his sneezing was reduced dramatically.’
      • ‘The smell of burning flesh still offended his nostrils, but he ignored it.’
      • ‘First I deciphered the most offending foods in the dish.’
      • ‘Food which offends taste will assuredly offend the stomach.’
      • ‘We had not originally envisaged being concerned with offending behaviour per se nor with offenders.’
      • ‘The smell offended her nose a bit more then she would have liked.’
      • ‘Top offending foods identified were, in alphabetical order, barley, beef, chicken, lamb, potato, rice, soya and wheat.’
      • ‘I am also offended at the waste of food in America, especially by young people.’
      • ‘Food allergies are untreatable, and people with these allergies must avoid offending foods, which can be impossible.’
      • ‘Methadone is not a magic bullet that removes all offending behaviour.’
      • ‘To them if a practice offends their subjective sensibilities it must be unconstitutional.’
      displease, be displeasing to, be distasteful to, be disagreeable to, be offensive to, cause offence to, upset, put off, disgust, repel, revolt, be repugnant to, repulse, turn someone's stomach, sicken, nauseate, make sick, make someone's gorge rise
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  • 2no object Commit an illegal act.

    ‘a small hard core of young criminals who offend again and again’
    • ‘The Prince's Trust has also been given money to fund a mentoring project to support young people from the borough who have offended or may be at risk of offending.’
    • ‘Well, your Honour, it would offend in two ways.’
    • ‘He does not appear to be a young man who is likely to offend again in this way in the future.’
    • ‘He offended on bail so often that magistrates remanded him in custody on March 25.’
    • ‘The Criminal Justice Intervention Programme aims to help more criminals who offend to feed their habit get clean.’
    • ‘Treo is a project that works with young people who have offended.’
    • ‘Bogus callers who target elderly victims may start their criminal careers as young as seven or eight and are often taught to offend by relatives or family friends, according to a Home Office study.’
    • ‘Aborigines sometimes killed straying convicts, but officialdom usually assumed they had offended in some way.’
    • ‘Are victims not entitled to every assurance that their abusers will not offend again?’
    • ‘A judge gave the 29-year-old a two-year conditional discharge meaning he will escape punishment unless he offends again.’
    • ‘The court was told the defendant, who has nine previous convictions, offended on bail.’
    • ‘Increasing the severity of sentences will deter criminals from offending.’
    • ‘The multi-agency Youth Offending Team was set up just over a year ago in a bid to prevent young people offending and re-offending.’
    • ‘In many cases where young boys sexually offend there was a family history of emotional, sexual and physical abuse.’
    • ‘The project has been introduced to help police solve crimes and deter criminals from further offending.’
    • ‘Criminals try to avoid offending in places where they are likely to be noticed.’
    • ‘There have been cases which have been very successful and in the case of the young boy who stole the bike, he hasn't offended now for many, many years.’
    • ‘I'm very confident that we are making a big difference these days into the lives of young people who are likely to commit crimes and to offend.’
    • ‘Who would be held responsible if this man offended again?’
    • ‘To avoid young people offending in the first place, there will be more drug education in schools and schemes to tackle truancy and the number of excluded youngsters.’
    break the law, commit a crime, do wrong, sin, go astray, fall from grace, err, transgress
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 Break a commonly accepted rule or principle.
      ‘those activities which offend against public order and decency’
      • ‘This was wrong, not only because it offended against the principle of equality but because in practice many women did have dependents.’
      • ‘His submission in this context was that the scheme offended against elementary principles of public law.’
      • ‘The alleged crimes offend against the laws of all nations.’
      • ‘The plaintiffs attacked this plea on the grounds that it offended against the repetition rule.’
      • ‘Must he also offend against the rule of law by introducing a new form of detention without trial?’
      • ‘These passages clearly offend against a number of the principles I have listed above.’
      • ‘The law was first amended in 1914 so that soldiers could leave Parliament and not offend against the absence rules.’
      • ‘For one thing, it offends against the principle that deterrent punishment must be kept to the effective minimum.’
      • ‘Disjunctive properties offend against the principle that a genuine property is identical in its different particulars.’
      • ‘There are occasions when closed courts can be justified, although they offend against the principle that justice must be seen to be done.’
      • ‘Because, in my submission, it then offends against the principle that where the duties are pre-eminently spiritual certain presumptions arise.’
      • ‘They are laws which offend against the principle of autonomy and they are laws which place both doctors and patients at risk.’
      • ‘Evidence so admitted does not offend against the general rule.’
      • ‘However, being politically disposed to one point of view on an issue did not necessarily offend against the rules of natural justice.’
      • ‘If a state's laws offend against the Constitution, the Supreme Court can declare them unconstitutional.’
      • ‘To maintain law and order, the judges have, and must have, power at once to deal with those who offend against it.’
      • ‘The code requires us not to broadcast material which offends against good taste or is offensive to public feeling.’
      • ‘He said that the question the judge put to the jury was improper and offended against the principle of random selection of the jury.’
      • ‘It is limited to cases where enforcement of the copyright would offend against the policy of the law.’
      • ‘An authentic choice is likely to offend against the rules established by them.’

Origin

Late Middle English: from Old French offendre, from Latin offendere ‘strike against’.

Pronunciation

offend

/əˈfɛnd//əˈfend/