Definition of offense in US English:

offense

(British offence)

noun

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

    ‘neither offense violates any federal law’
    • ‘The original version of the bill would have made an immigration violation a felony offense.’
    • ‘In this way the defendant consumed the criminal offence of premeditated murder.’
    • ‘It is the essence of offences against the person that what is done is done unlawfully.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Both women were convicted of minor nonviolent drug offenses.’
    • ‘The nation's legal nightmare around non-violent drug offenses is the primary cross he bears.’
    • ‘Another 1995 law made the laundering of money from drug trafficking a serious criminal offense.’
    • ‘Singapore still considers graffiti an offense punishable by flogging.’
    • ‘Police may call it the fineable offence of contravening traffic rules, but it is the order of the day among minibus drivers.’
    • ‘An offence of indecent assault, since 1985, carries a maximum sentence of 10 years.’
    • ‘The skewness of the perceived severity distribution for each felony drug offense was examined.’
    • ‘Both stand accused of plunder, an offense punishable by death.’
    • ‘In that case the applicant had been convicted of offences of indecent assault.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Beginning in 2009, adults arrested for any felony offense are subject to DNA collection.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘Offences against the laws governing political parties are not punishable as a criminal offence, but can incur painful financial sanctions.’
    • ‘But the case was abandoned Thursday after magistrates found he had not committed a criminal offense.’
    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
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    1. 1.1 A thing that constitutes a violation of what is judged to be right or natural.
      ‘the outcome is an offense to basic justice’
      • ‘War is a crime against humanity and an offence against God.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘So abusing the Quran is a hideous offense to Muslims more than the same abuse of a Bible would be to Christians.’
      • ‘The scorning of the tribes is an offense to the natural order in the minds of many there.’
      affront, slap in the face, insult, outrage, injury, hurt, injustice, indignity, slight, snub
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  • 2Annoyance or resentment brought about by a perceived insult to or disregard for oneself or one's standards or principles.

    ‘I didn't intend to give offense’
    ‘he went out, making it clear he'd taken offense’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We can assure you that no offense was ever intended.’
    • ‘I have taken offence to the statement that a lie was told, and I ask for it to be withdrawn and apologised for.’
    • ‘Is the make of car he drives likely to cause offence?’
    • ‘Workers will have to think twice before telling insensitive jokes or expressing intolerant views which may 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.’
    • ‘He's also painfully anxious not to give offence, and you wonder if he's almost too nice for his own good.’
    • ‘Last time Clark commented on Tamihere she said that he meant no offense.’
    • ‘I ask the Minister to stand and withdraw that remark about the point that the member has taken offence to.’
    • ‘A demonstration may annoy or give offence to persons opposed to the ideas of claims that it is seeking to promote.’
    • ‘This guy heard what I said and must have taken offence.’
    • ‘‘The argument then was that to allow this element would give offence to people of other faiths,’ wrote Torrance.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I saw the person who is alleged to have taken offense on the tram a few days later, and she seemed fine.’
    • ‘Paramilitary flags or slogans and monuments do give offence to visitors and to different sectors of society.’
    • ‘And when I say that, please understand I mean no offense to the ghost of the 70s comedian.’
    • ‘For language, I'd almost always leave it in, unless it was something that would clearly give offense.’
    • ‘I wanted to put all your minds at rest - my wife reads my article each week and has not taken offence (so far, anyway).’
    • ‘Video game developers counter that no offense is intended.’
    • ‘They were not amused by the spoof - and McDonald's finished up saying it meant no offense.’
    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
    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
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  • 3The action of attacking someone or something.

    as modifier ‘reductions in strategic offense arsenals’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She said Seamus was known to police in Middleton and Rochdale and had been due to appear in court to face motor offence charges.’
    • ‘Three of the staff, two women and a man, were arrested and given a police caution for offence - which means they admitted their guilt.’
    • ‘He had been facing sex offence charges against young girls at the time Rory disappeared last month.’
    • ‘But for every feint that was ignored, for every offense move that was countered, Tiana dealt equally.’
    • ‘It is more of a defense and offense attack combined.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    attack, offensive, assault, act of aggression, aggression, onslaught, thrust, charge, sortie, sally, invasion, incursion, foray
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    1. 3.1North American (in sports) the team or players who are attempting to score or advance the ball.
      • ‘The offense struggled to sustain drives last year and must get better on third down.’
      • ‘A first down is achieved when the offense has moved the ball ten yards from its previous spot.’
      • ‘If the Eagles keep both of their second-round picks, they could go for skill players on offense.’
      • ‘The Chargers would like another big run stuffer on defense and a versatile player on offense.’
      • ‘First, it brings back a productive player on a young offense that needs playmakers.’
      • ‘On the other hand, the Colts are a much-improved team with a very potent offense.’
      • ‘They'll have to be to keep Florida's dangerous offense off the field.’
      • ‘They are so bad their offense has 18 false-start penalties in six games.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The rest of the players on offense had to adjust to the change in personality under center.’
      • ‘The game started with both offenses moving the ball well only to have field goal attempts sail wide.’
      • ‘Saban will miss quarterback Matt Mauck and the other playmakers on offense who graduated.’
      • ‘Most importantly, they kept the high-octane Kansas City offense off the field.’
      • ‘He is as automatic as it gets in the league and as much of a weapon as any player on offense.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The team will need contributions from some of its younger players 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.’
      • ‘That doesn't bode well for a team whose offense is predicated on running with George.’
    2. 3.2US (in sports) the condition of possessing the ball or being on the team attempting to score.
      • ‘Against the Colts in the divisional round, they relied heavily on a ball-control offense and kept the ball for more than 37 minutes.’
      • ‘Also, Longley significantly contributed to three Bulls' championships by meticulously executing the triangle offense.’
      • ‘He was happy to run the offense, distribute the ball, and shut down the other team's best players.’
      • ‘If Georgetown does create a slower tempo, Florida will need sophomore point guard Taurean Green to score in a half-court offense.’
      • ‘I get a chance to run teams through plays and offenses and feedback with the coaches.’
      • ‘Practice sessions are needed to fine-tune parts of your game, working on team offenses and defenses.’
      • ‘In his second start, he showed great control of the offense and spread the ball around.’
      • ‘On key fourth-quarter possessions, Finley often got the ball in a spread offense.’
      • ‘After studying last season's offense and the offenses of other teams, the staff concluded the Cardinals were trying to be too exotic in their running game.’
      • ‘Lavender proved he can score and run an offense at Oklahoma, but he sometimes needs to be encouraged to share the ball.’
      • ‘Amidst strong winds and in front of a large Hamline homecoming crowd, the Scots struggled on offense, turning the ball over five times.’
      • ‘In a triangle offense, shooting and passing skills are must-haves for the center.’
      • ‘While its blitz-happy schemes will result in some big plays, they will leave the team vulnerable against big-play offenses.’
      • ‘He's the point guard who best combines scoring and running the offense.’
      • ‘He is a leader who controls the offense and defends the ball as well as anyone.’
      • ‘Neither team did a good job taking care of the ball on offense as Redbank Valley had three fumbles, lost one and two Jason Smith interceptions.’
      • ‘Stay cool and poised, as David Duke did, and play offense by pushing Russert's toughest questions back at him.’
      • ‘Ewen was under no illusions regarding the areas that need work - the speed of ball movement when the team is on the offense and the organisation of offensive play.’
      • ‘In this mode you are rewarded for doing things like passing for a first down and QB sacks, so you can score during both offense and defense.’
      • ‘Those clubs played some serious offense en route to winning their Super Bowl titles.’

Phrases

  • no offense

    • informal Do not be offended.

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

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

offense

/əˈfɛns//əˈfens/