Meaning of “offence” in the English Dictionary

"offence" in British English

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offencenoun

US offense uk /əˈfens/ us /əˈfens/

offence noun (CRIME)

B2 [ C ] an illegal act; a crime:

a serious/minor offence
Driving without a licence is an offence.
He committed several serious offences.
It's the third time that he's been convicted of a drug offence.

More examples

  • The soldier received a dishonourable discharge for a disciplinary offence.
  • It's an offence to park on double yellow lines.
  • This was the defendant's third court appearance for the same offence.
  • He has a long record of previous convictions for similar offences.
  • She was yesterday bailed for three weeks on drink-driving offences.

offence noun (UPSET FEELINGS)

B2 [ U ] upset and hurt or annoyed feelings, often because someone has been rude or shown no respect:

I really didn't mean (to cause/give) any offence (= did not intend to upset anyone) - I was just stating my opinion.
Do you think he took offence (= was upset) at what I said about his hair?
informal If you don't mind, I'd rather go on my own - no offence (intended), but I think it would be better.

More examples

  • Sometimes taboo words are written with asterisks to avoid causing offence.
  • She takes offence too easily.
  • His remarks caused widespread offence.
  • She took offence when I offered to pay.
  • The last thing I want to do is cause offence to your mother.

(Definition of “offence” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"offence" in Business English

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offencenoun

UK US offense uk /əˈfens/ us

[ C ] LAW an illegal act or crime:

It is a criminal offence to mislead customers about the price of an item.
a serious/major/minor offence
be/become an offence It became an offence for British citizens to offer bribes for business contracts anywhere in the world.
commit an offence In practising as a solicitor without being duly qualified, he committed an offence.
be accused of/found guilty of/convicted of an offence She was convicted of drug offences.

[ U ] feelings of being upset and angry, often because someone has been rude:

This advertisement may cause offence in some markets.
She took offence at the way the assistant spoke to her.
a sackable/sacking offence UK US a firing offense

HR a wrong action that you can lose your job for:

Drinking alcohol while on duty is a sackable offence.

(Definition of “offence” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

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