a. The act of causing anger, resentment, displeasure, or affront.
b. The state of being offended.
a. A violation or infraction of a moral or social code; a transgression or sin.
b. A transgression of law; a crime.
3. Something that outrages moral sensibilities: Genocide is an offense to all civilized humans.
4. (ŏfĕns′) The act of attacking or assaulting.
5. (ŏfĕns′) Sports
a. The means or tactics used in attempting to score.
b. The team in possession of the ball or puck, or those players whose primary duty is to attempt to score.
c. Scoring ability or potential.
[Middle English, from Old French ofense, from Latin offēnsa, from feminine past participle of offendere, to offend; see OFFEND.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.