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Webster 1913 Edition


Offensive

Of-fen′sive

,
Adj.
[Cf. F.
offensif
. See
Offend
.]
1.
Giving offense; causing displeasure or resentment; displeasing; annoying;
as,
offensive
words
.
2.
Giving pain or unpleasant sensations; disagreeable; revolting; noxious;
as, an
offensive
smell;
offensive
sounds.
Offensive to the stomach.”
Bacon.
3.
Making the first attack; assailant; aggressive; hence, used in attacking; – opposed to
defensive
;
as, an
offensive
war;
offensive
weapons.
League offensive and defensive
,
a leaque that requires all the parties to it to make war together against any foe, and to defend one another if attacked.
Syn. – Displeasing; disagreeable; distasteful; obnoxious; abhorrent; disgusting; impertinent; rude; saucy; reproachful; opprobrious; insulting; insolent; abusive; scurrilous; assailant; attacking; invading.
Of-fen′sive-ly
,
adv.
Of-fen′sive-ness
,
Noun.

Of-fen′sive

,
Noun.
The state or posture of one who offends or makes attack; aggressive attitude; the act of the attacking party; – opposed to
defensive
.

Webster 1828 Edition


Offensive

OFFENS'IVE

,
Adj.
1.
Causing displeasure or some degree of anger; displeasing. All sin is offensive to God. Rude behavior is offensive to men. Good breeding forbids us to use offensive words.
2.
Disgusting; giving pain or unpleasant sensations; disagreeable; as an offensive taste or smell; an offensive sight. discordant sounds are offensive to the ears.
3.
Injurious.
It is an excellent opener for the liver, but offensive to the stomach.
4.
Assailant; used in attack; opposed to defensive; as an offensive weapon or engine.
5.
Assailant; invading; making the first attack; opposed to defensive; as an offensive war.
A league offensive and defensive, is one that requires both or all parties to make war together against a nation, and each party to defend the other in case of being attacked.

OFFENS'IVE

,
Noun.
The part of attacking; as, to act on the offensive.

Definition 2021


Offensive

Offensive

See also: offensive

German

Noun

Offensive f (genitive Offensive, plural Offensiven)

  1. offensive (posture of attacking or being able to attack)
  2. attack, offensive

Antonyms

Synonyms

Derived terms

offensive

offensive

See also: Offensive

English

Alternative forms

Adjective

offensive (comparative more offensive, superlative most offensive)

  1. Causing offense; arousing a visceral reaction of disgust, anger, or hatred.
    Some people find pornography offensive.
  2. Relating to an offense or attack, as opposed to defensive.
    • 2013 June 7, Ed Pilkington, Killer robots should be banned in advance, UN told”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 188, number 26, page 6:
      In his submission to the UN, [Christof] Heyns points to the experience of drones. Unmanned aerial vehicles were intended initially only for surveillance, and their use for offensive purposes was prohibited, yet once strategists realised their perceived advantages as a means of carrying out targeted killings, all objections were swept out of the way.
    The army's offensive capabilities. An offensive weapon.
  3. (team sports) Having to do with play directed at scoring.
    The offensive coordinator is responsible for ordering all rushing plays.

Usage notes

  • Nouns to which "offensive" is often applied: content, material, language, word, comment, remark, statement, speech, joke, humor, image, picture, art, behavior, conduct, act, action.
  • When the second syllable is emphasized, "offensive" is defined as "insulting". When the first syllable is emphasized, it refers to the attacker of a conflict or the team in a sport who possesses the ball.

Synonyms

Antonyms

Derived terms

Related terms

Translations

Noun

offensive (countable and uncountable, plural offensives)

  1. (countable, military) An attack.
    The Marines today launched a major offensive.
  2. (uncountable) The posture of attacking or being able to attack.
    He took the offensive in the press, accusing his opponent of corruption.

Translations


Danish

Adjective

offensive

  1. plural and definite singular attributive of offensiv

French

Adjective

offensive

  1. feminine singular of offensif

Noun

offensive f (plural offensives)

  1. An offensive (military attack).

German

Adjective

offensive

  1. inflected form of offensiv

Italian

Adjective

offensive f

  1. feminine plural of offensivo

Noun

offensive f

  1. plural of offensiva