Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “offensive”

offensive

noun [C]     /əˈfen.sɪv/
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).Attacking and invading take the offensive to attack firstAttacking and invading
(Definition of offensive noun from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of offensive

Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Attacking & invading, but you might be interested in these topics from the War, peace and fighting topic area:

Definitions of “offensive” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

workmanship

the skill with which something was made or done

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More