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Synonyms of offensive in English:


  • 1 he described the remarks as deeply offensive
    insulting, rude, derogatory, disrespectful, hurtful, wounding, abusive, objectionable, displeasing, annoying, exasperating, irritating, vexing, galling, provocative, provoking, humiliating, impertinent, impudent, insolent, personal, discourteous, uncivil, impolite, unmannerly, unacceptable, shocking, scandalous, outrageous;
    crude, vulgar, coarse, indecent, improper
    rare exceptionable
    [Antonyms] complimentary, polite
  • 2 an offensive smell
    noxious, fetid, rank, rancid, malodorous, mephitic
    British informal beastly
    Northern Irish informal bogging
    Australian informal on the nose
    North American informal skanky
    literary noisome
    archaic disgustful, loathly
    [Antonyms] pleasant, delightful
  • 3 an offensive air action against another country
    [Antonyms] defensive
  • noun

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  • a military offensive against the guerrillas
    attack, assault, onslaught, drive, invasion, push, thrust, charge, sortie, sally, foray, raid, offence, act of war, act of aggression, incursion, blitz, campaign
  • Phrases

    take the offensive
    security forces took the offensive ten days ago
    begin to attack, attack first, be aggressive, strike the first blow, start a war/battle/quarrel
    informal be on the warpath

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    offensive, derogatory, insulting
    These words all describe remarks or behaviour that cause offence or distress, unconsciously or intentionally.Offensive remarks or behaviour make someone hurt, upset, or angry, whether or not the speaker realizes or intends this ( the wording was unnecessarily offensive | the work is trite and offensive to women). An offensive term for a person, such as someone of a particular ethnic type, may offend others, not just those of that ethnicity.A derogatory comment is deliberately intended to express a low opinion of someone or something ( derogatory racial remarks | I found myself repelled by the use of derogatory nicknames).Insulting language or behaviour shows a lack of respect ( the Minister's reply is arrogant and insulting | the cartoon is insulting to men). It is generally, but not necessarily, intended to upset or annoy.
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