American English

Definition of offense noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[countable] offense (against somebody/something) an illegal act synonym crime a criminal/serious/minor/sexual, etc. offense a first offense (= the first time that someone has been found guilty of a crime) a capital offense (= one for which someone may be punished by death) He was not aware that he had committed an offense. an offense against society/humanity/the state New legislation makes it an offense to carry guns.
  2. 2[uncountable] the act of upsetting or insulting someone I'm sure he meant no offense when he said that. The photo may cause offense to some people. No one will take offense (= feel upset or insulted) if you leave early. Don't be so quick to take offense.
  3. 3
    , NAmE//ˈɑf‑//
    [singular, uncountable] (sport) the members of a team whose main aim is to score points against the other team; a method of scoring points The Redskins' offense is stronger than their defense. He played offense for the Cowboys. compare defense
  4. Idioms
    no offense (informal)
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    used to say that you do not mean to upset or insult someone by something you say or do No offense, but I'd really like to be by myself.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: offense