Definition of offence noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    (especially US English offense) noun
    BrE BrE//əˈfens//
    ; NAmE NAmE//əˈfens//
    Types of crime
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  1. 1  [countable] offence (against somebody/something) an illegal act synonym crime a criminal/serious/minor/sexual, etc. offence a first offence (= the first time that somebody has been found guilty of a crime) a capital offence (= one for which somebody may be punished by death) He was not aware that he had committed an offence. an offence against society/humanity/the state New legislation makes it an offence to carry guns. Wordfinderaccuse, appeal, counsel, defendant, evidence, justice, offence, plea, prosecution, trial See related entries: Types of crime
  2. 2  [uncountable] the act of upsetting or insulting somebody I'm sure he meant no offence when he said that. The photo may cause offence to some people. No one will take offence (= feel upset or insulted) if you leave early. Don't be so quick to take offence.
  3. Word Originlate Middle English: from Old French offens ‘misdeed’, from Latin offensus ‘annoyance’, reinforced by French offense, from Latin offensa ‘a striking against, a hurt, or displeasure’; based on Latin offendere ‘strike against’.Extra examples I didn’t mean to give offence to anyone. Motorists may be fined on the spot for driving offences such as speeding. No offence intended, but are you sure your calculations are right? The offence is punishable by up to three months’ imprisonment. offences against public decency Don’t be so quick to take offence. He was given a warning since it was a first offence. I’m sure he meant no offence when he said that. It is a criminal offence to inflict cruelty on any wild animal. No one will take offence if you leave early. She was not aware that she had committed an offence. The photo on the cover of the book may cause offence to some people. The rebels could face charges of treason, a capital offence.Idioms (informal) used to say that you do not mean to upset or insult somebody by something you say or do No offence, but I'd really like to be on my own.