Offensive – Definition, Meaning, Synonyms & Antonyms

Offensive – Definition, Meaning, Synonyms & Antonyms

The offensive meaning refers to something that is likely to provoke a negative reaction, often due to being disrespectful, rude, or objectionable.

History of the Word Offensive

Historical Usage

It primarily referred to actions or behaviors that caused displeasure, harm, or resentment. It was used in various contexts, such as warfare (offensive strategies), sports (offensive plays), and personal conduct (offensive language). In literature and rhetoric, it played a role in describing actions that provoked negative reactions.

Modern Usage

It encompasses a wide range of meanings. It can describe behaviors, language, or actions that are objectionable, hurtful, or aggressive.

English (Offensive As Adjective)


Offensive" comes from the Latin "offensus," rooted in "offendere" (to offend, strike against).


Pronounced as: /əˈfɛnsɪv/.

Forms of Offensive

Form Example
Adjective Offensive remarks
Comparative Degree More offensive comments
Superlative Degree Most offensive behavior
Adverb Behaving offensively
Noun (offense) Taking offense easily
Noun (offender) The offender apologized

Derived Terms

  • Offensively
  • Offensiveness
  • Offense

Translations of Offensive

  • Spanish: ofensivo
  • French: offensif
  • German: anstößig
  • Italian: offensivo
  • Portuguese: ofensivo
  • Russian: оскорбительный (oskorbitel'nyy)
  • Chinese (Simplified): 冒犯的 (màofàn de)
  • Japanese: 攻撃的な (kōgekiten)
  • Offensive meaning in Hindi: आक्रमणकारी (aakramankaari)
  • Urdu: حملہ آور (hamla aawar)


  • Insulting
  • Obnoxious
  • Disrespectful
  • Rude
  • Abusive
  • Repugnant
  • Repulsive
  • Inflammatory
  • Aggressive
  • Provocative
  • Vexatious
  • Disparaging
  • Disconcerting
  • Indecorous
  • Controversial
  • Outrageous
  • Unpleasant
  • Hostile
  • Hurtful
  • Censurable


  • Inoffensive
  • Respectful
  • Agreeable
  • Pleasant
  • Non-controversial
  • Tolerant
  • Polite
  • Considerate
  • Courteous
  • Amicable
  • Gentle
  • Non-aggressive
  • Non-hostile
  • Unobjectionable
  • Mild
  • Kind
  • Civil
  • Complimentary
  • Non-provocative
  • Harmless

Examples Sentences

  • His offensive comments upset everyone
  • The team's offensive strategy was impressive.
  • The offensive odor in the room was overwhelming.

FAQs (People May Also Ask)

What does offensive mean?

Offensive causes resentment, or harm, it's objectionable or aggressive.

Can offensive be used as a noun?

Yes, offense is the noun form, referring to a harmful or objectionable action or behavior.

What's the adverb form of offensive?

The adverb form is offensively used to describe how something is done offensively.

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