Pronunciation: (u-fens' or, for 7–9, ô'fens, of'ens), [key]
1. a violation or breaking of a social or moral rule; transgression; sin.
2. a transgression of the law; misdemeanor.
3. a cause of transgression or wrong.
4. something that offends or displeases.
5. the act of offending or displeasing.
6. the feeling of resentful displeasure caused: to give offense.
7. the act of attacking; attack or assault: weapons of offense.
8. a person, army, etc., that is attacking.
9. Sports.
a. the players or team unit responsible for attacking or scoring in a game.
b. the players possessing or controlling the ball, puck, etc., or the aspects or period of a game when this obtains.
c. a pattern or style of scoring attack: single-wing offense; fast-break offense.
d. offensive effectiveness; ability to score: a total breakdown in offense.
10. Archaic.injury, harm, or hurt. Also,offence.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.

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