Meaning of “offender” in the English Dictionary

"offender" in British English

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offendernoun [ C ]

uk /əˈfen.dər/ us /əˈfen.dɚ/

B2 a person who is guilty of a crime:

first-time offenders
sex offenders
young offenders

More examples

  • She is a persistent offender and has been arrested five times this year for shoplifting.
  • Tougher prison sentences may act/serve as a deterrent to other would-be offenders.
  • Here at the special school we make every effort to socialize these young offenders.
  • We're searching for a couple of runaways from the young offenders' institution.
  • Instead of simply punishing them, the system encourages offenders to modify their behaviour.

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

"offender" in American English

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offendernoun [ C ]

us /əˈfen·dər/

a person who is guilty of a crime:

Because he is a first-time offender, he is unlikely to receive jail time.

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

"offender" in Business English

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offendernoun [ C ]

uk /əˈfendər/ us

LAW a person who is guilty of a crime:

first-time/repeat/habitual offender A first-time offender might expect probation rather than a jail sentence.
convicted/alleged offenders
young/juvenile offenders
sex/drug offenders

someone or something that does something wrong:

Concerning damage to the environment, holiday resorts tend to be the worst offenders.

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