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of·fend / əˈfend/ • v. 1. [tr.] (often be offended) cause to feel upset, annoyed, or resentful: viewers said they had been offended by bad language. ∎  be displeasing to: he didn't smoke and the smell of ash offended him | [as adj.] (offending) they must redesign the offending section of road. 2. [intr.] commit an illegal act: a small hard core of young criminals who offend again and again. ∎  break a commonly accepted rule or principle: those activities which offend against public order and decency.DERIVATIVES: of·fend·ed·ly adv.of·fend·er n.