Definition of offender in US English:



  • 1A person who commits an illegal act.

    ‘an institution for juvenile offenders’
    • ‘They emphasize violent criminals to build prisons and they fill them with drug offenders, and insist on the death penalty.’
    • ‘She owns her own firm — often representing repeat offenders — and finds herself in a world unto itself.’
    • ‘State budget deficits are often amplified by costs associated with prisons bulging with nonviolent drug offenders.’
    • ‘Important differences emerged regarding the criminal histories of major and minor offenders.’
    • ‘Many of the young offenders who are let out are not first offenders.’
    • ‘There are major problems, nevertheless, in applying the law there and prosecuting offenders.’
    • ‘Under a civil lawsuit, however, the judge can decide freely which measure will be taken against the offender.’
    • ‘Drunk drivers and other misdemeanor offenders may be less likely to face prison if a Ministry of Justice policy proposed yesterday is implemented.’
    • ‘This sentence allows an offender to be detained indefinitely.’
    • ‘The shots fired at her by the offender were totally unprovoked, totally unnecessary.’
    • ‘It demonstrated the procedures to follow for sentencing young offenders.’
    • ‘In the past two decades, the federal prison population has doubled, mostly due to drug offenders.’
    • ‘That is what we are dealing with, with child sex offenders.’
    • ‘The teenagers, both persistent young offenders, had admitted at least three other offences each on different days in west York.’
    • ‘Offenders often fail to realize the severity of their crimes, and an antagonistic prison environment can exacerbate feelings of being wrongly accused and hamper treatment.’
    • ‘There are no similar laws denying aid to violent or other criminal offenders - including murderers.’
    • ‘Offenders of intellectual property violations will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.’
    • ‘He pushed for a law that would forever put away violent repeat offenders like the men who killed his daughter.’
    • ‘The offenders had previously either been found guilty or pleaded guilty to conspiracy to handle stolen goods.’
    • ‘There is nowhere dedicated to housing and rehabilitating delinquent girls or juvenile female offenders.’
    wrongdoer, criminal, lawbreaker, malefactor, felon, delinquent, culprit, guilty party, sinner, transgressor, evil-doer, reprobate, outlaw
    View synonyms
  • 2A person or thing that offends, does something wrong, or causes problems.

    ‘of atmospheric pollutants, the worst offender is sulfur dioxide’
    ‘he himself may be an offender of the very issues he is discussing’
    • ‘In this respect, the Roman Catholics are not by any means the only offenders.’
    • ‘Now, in the epoch of multiculturalism, the offenders are accused of being Eurocentric or of exhibiting cultural arrogance.’
    • ‘The carer, a competent young woman, was obviously quite accustomed to this and handled the worst offenders with patience, courtesy, and complete effectiveness.’
    • ‘The two greatest offenders come back-to-back in the middle of the album.’
    • ‘Whether they can actually negotiate voluntary restraints remains unclear, since presumed offenders are peddling cut-rate steel in part to keep shaky economies afloat.’
    • ‘He was the worst offender in the overconfidence that swept Portuguese ranks and halted their early momentum.’
    • ‘The Irish Deaf Society says less than a tenth of all Irish broadcasting is subtitled, with these stations being the worst offenders.’
    • ‘People working in hospitals have told me that the worst offenders for not washing their hands are the doctors.’