Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin offensa, from feminine of offensus, past participle of offendere
Date: 14th century
a. obsolete an act of stumbling
b. archaic a cause or occasion of sin ; stumbling block
2. something that outrages the moral or physical senses
a. the act of attacking ; assault
b. the means or method of attacking or of attempting to score
c. the offensive team or members of a team playing offensive positions
d. scoring ability
a. the act of displeasing or affronting
b. the state of being insulted or morally outraged <takes offense at the slightest criticism> 5. a. a breach of a moral or social code ; sin, misdeed b. an infraction of law; especially misdemeanor • offenseless adjective Synonyms: offense, resentment, umbrage, pique, dudgeon, huff mean an emotional response to or an emotional state resulting from a slight or indignity. offense implies hurt displeasure <takes deep offense at racial slurs>. resentment suggests lasting indignation or ill will <harbored a lifelong resentment of his brother>. umbrage may suggest hurt pride, resentment, or suspicion of another's motives <took umbrage at the offer of advice>. pique applies to a transient feeling of wounded vanity <in a pique I foolishly declined the invitation>. dudgeon suggests an angry fit of indignation <stormed out of the meeting in high dudgeon>. huff implies a peevish short-lived spell of anger usually at a petty cause <in a huff he slammed the door>. Synonyms: offense, sin, vice, crime, scandal mean a transgression of law. offense applies to the infraction of any law, rule, or code <at that school no offense went unpunished>. sin implies an offense against moral or religious law <the sin of blasphemy>. vice applies to a habit or practice that degrades or corrupts <regarded gambling as a vice>. crime implies a serious offense punishable by the law of the state <the crime of murder>. scandal applies to an offense that outrages the public conscience <a career ruined by a sex scandal>.
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.