American English

Definition of offensive noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1a military operation in which large numbers of soldiers, etc. attack another country synonym strike an air offensive They launched the offensive on January 10.
  2. 2a series of actions aimed at achieving something in a way that attracts a lot of attention synonym campaign The government has launched a new offensive against crime. a sales offensive The public seems unconvinced by their latest charm offensive (= their attempt to make people like them).
  3. Idioms
    be on the offensive
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    to be attacking someone or something rather than waiting for them to attack you The Rangers were on the offensive for most of the game. The government is very much on the offensive in the fight against drugs.
    go on (to) the offensive, take the offensive
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    to start attacking someone or something before they start attacking you
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: offensive

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