Definition of offend in English:


Line breaks: of¦fend
Pronunciation: /əˈfɛnd


  • 2 [no object] Commit an illegal act: a small hard core of young criminals who offend again and again
    More example sentences
    • I'm very confident that we are making a big difference these days into the lives of young people who are likely to commit crimes and to offend.
    • In many cases where young boys sexually offend there was a family history of emotional, sexual and physical abuse.
    • The project has been introduced to help police solve crimes and deter criminals from further offending.
    break the law, commit a crime, do wrong, sin, go astray, fall from grace, err, transgress
    archaic trespass
  • 2.1Break a commonly accepted rule or principle: those activities which offend against public order and decency
    More example sentences
    • They are laws which offend against the principle of autonomy and they are laws which place both doctors and patients at risk.
    • There are occasions when closed courts can be justified, although they offend against the principle that justice must be seen to be done.
    • Evidence so admitted does not offend against the general rule.


late Middle English: from Old French offendre, from Latin offendere 'strike against'.

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