Meaning of “offend” in the English Dictionary

"offend" in British English

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offendverb

uk /əˈfend/ us /əˈfend/

offend verb (UPSET)

B2 [ T ] to make someone upset or angry:

[ + that ] I think she was offended that she hadn't been invited to the party.
He looked offended when you called him middle-aged.
If the sight of a few dirty dishes offends you, then I think you're in trouble!

More examples

  • I really didn't mean to offend her - I just said it unthinkingly.
  • I'm sorry if I offended you - I didn't mean any harm.
  • I've never knowingly offended him.
  • I didn't dare say anything for fear of offending him.
  • Richard succeeded in offending just about everybody in the room!

Phrasal verb(s)

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

"offend" in American English

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offendverb [ T ]

us /əˈfend/

to cause to be upset or to hurt the feelings of someone, esp. by being rude or showing a lack of respect:

I think she was offended that she wasn’t invited to the party.

(Definition of “offend” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"offend" in Business English

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offendverb

uk /əˈfend/ us

[ I ] LAW to commit a crime:

She was released from jail, only to offend again three weeks later.

[ T ] to make someone upset and angry by something you say or do:

The store refused to stock the book in case it might offend customers.
He offended her by implying that she only got the job through personal contacts.

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