Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “offensive”

offensive

adjective uk   /əˈfen.sɪv/ us  

offensive adjective (UPSETTING)

B2 causing offence: This programme contains language that some viewers might find offensive. He told some really offensive sexist jokes.
Opposite
unpleasant: offensive smells

offensive adjective (ATTACKING)

used for attacking: Since the other side had taken offensive action (= attacked), we had no choice but to defend ourselves. Knives of any sort are classed as offensive weapons.
offensively
adverb uk   /-li/ us  
offensiveness
noun [U] uk   /-nəs/ us  

offensive

noun [C] uk   /əˈfen.sɪv/ us  
a planned military attack: They launched the land offensive in the middle of the night. UN troops have gone on the offensive (= started to attack). take the offensive to attack first
(Definition of offensive from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of offensive?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

More meanings of “offensive”

Definitions of “offensive” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

maiden

a girl or young woman

Word of the Day

Countability – grammar codes

by Dom Glennon​​,
November 26, 2014
Advices and informations Have you ever noticed strange codes in square brackets on entries in Cambridge Dictionaries Online and wondered what they mean? These are grammar codes, giving you a brief summary of how that word behaves grammatically. More information can be obtained by hovering your cursor over the code, and there’s

Read More 

ped-text verb

November 24, 2014
to text someone while walking I’m ped-texting, I’m looking down at my phone, 75 percent of the time.

Read More