Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French offendre, from Latin offendere to strike against, offend, from ob- against + -fendere to strike — more at ob-, defend
Date: 14th century
a. to transgress the moral or divine law ; sin <if it be a sin to covet honor, I am the most offending soul alive — Shakespeare> b. to violate a law or rule ; do wrong <offend against the law> 2. a. to cause difficulty, discomfort, or injury <took off his shoe and removed the offending pebble> b. to cause dislike, anger, or vexation <thoughtless words that offend needlessly> transitive verb 1. a. violate, transgress b. to cause pain to ; hurt 2. obsolete to cause to sin or fall 3. to cause to feel vexation or resentment usually by violation of what is proper or fitting <was offended by their language> • offender noun Synonyms: offend, outrage, affront, insult mean to cause hurt feelings or deep resentment. offend need not imply an intentional hurting but it may indicate merely a violation of the victim's sense of what is proper or fitting <hoped that my remarks had not offended her>. outrage implies offending beyond endurance and calling forth extreme feelings <outraged by their accusations>. affront implies treating with deliberate rudeness or contemptuous indifference to courtesy <deeply affronted by his callousness>. insult suggests deliberately causing humiliation, hurt pride, or shame <insulted every guest at the party>.
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.