offense Definition

  • 1a breach of a law or rule; an illegal act
  • 2annoyance or resentment brought about by a perceived insult or disregard for oneself or one's standards or principles

Using offense: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "offense" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    He was arrested for committing an offense against the law.

  • Example

    Her words caused great offense to the audience.

  • Example

    I took no offense at his criticism.

  • Example

    The team's offense was unstoppable in the second half.

offense Synonyms and Antonyms

Idioms Using offense

  • in a position of attacking or being aggressive


    The team is on offense and trying to score a goal.

  • it is better to defend yourself than to attack others


    Instead of arguing with him, I decided that defense is the best offense and just walked away.

  • a relatively minor violation of a law or rule


    Speeding is considered a minor offense in most states.

Phrases with offense

  • to cause someone to feel upset or insulted


    I hope I didn't give offense by asking about her personal life.

  • to feel upset or insulted by something someone said or did


    She took offense at his comment and stormed out of the room.

  • the first time someone has committed a particular crime or offense


    Since it was his first offense, he received a lighter sentence.

Origins of offense

from Old French 'offense', from Latin 'offensa', meaning 'stumbling block'


Summary: offense in Brief

The term 'offense' [əˈfɛns] refers to either a breach of law or rule, or annoyance or resentment caused by a perceived insult. It can be used in phrases like 'give offense' and 'take offense,' as well as idioms like 'on offense.' 'Offense' also has a legal connotation, as in 'He was arrested for committing an offense against the law.'

How do native speakers use this expression?