from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To cause displeasure, anger, resentment, or wounded feelings in.
  • transitive v. To be displeasing or disagreeable to: Onions offend my sense of smell.
  • transitive v. To transgress; violate: offend all laws of humanity.
  • transitive v. To cause to sin.
  • intransitive v. To result in displeasure: Bad manners may offend.
  • intransitive v. To violate a moral or divine law; sin.
  • intransitive v. To violate a rule or law: offended against the curfew.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To hurt the feelings of; to displease; to make angry; to insult.
  • v. To feel or become offended, take insult.
  • v. To physically harm, pain
  • v. To annoy, cause discomfort or resent.
  • v. To sin, transgress divine law or moral rules
  • v. To transgress or violate a law or moral requirement.
  • v. To cause to stumble; to cause to sin or to fall.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To transgress the moral or divine law; to commit a crime; to stumble; to sin.
  • intransitive v. To cause dislike, anger, or vexation; to displease.
  • transitive v. To strike against; to attack; to assail.
  • transitive v. To displease; to make angry; to affront.
  • transitive v. To be offensive to; to harm; to pain; to annoy
  • transitive v. To transgress; to violate; to sin against.
  • transitive v. To oppose or obstruct in duty; to cause to stumble; to cause to sin or to fall.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To strike; attack; assail.
  • To injure; harm; hurt.
  • To displease; give offense or displeasure to; shock; annoy; pain; molest.
  • To disobey or sin against (a person); transgress or violate (a law or right).
  • To cause to offend or transgress; lead into disobedience or evil.
  • Synonyms To vex, chafe, irritate, provoke, nettle, fret, gall.
  • To strike, attack, or assail one.
  • To disobey, violate, or transgress law, whether human or divine; commit a fault or crime; sin: sometimes with against.
  • To give offense or displeasure; do anything displeasing, or calculated to cause dislike or anger.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. strike with disgust or revulsion
  • v. cause to feel resentment or indignation
  • v. act in disregard of laws, rules, contracts, or promises
  • v. hurt the feelings of


Middle English offenden, from Old French offendre, from Latin offendere; see gwhen- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin offendō ("strike, blunder, commit an offense"), from ob ("against") + *fendō ("strike"). (Wiktionary)



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