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of·fen·sive • adj. 1. / əˈfensiv/ causing someone to feel deeply hurt, upset, or angry: the allegations made are deeply offensive to us | offensive language. ∎  (of a sight or smell) disgusting; repulsive: an offensive odor.2. / ˈäfensiv/ actively aggressive; attacking: offensive operations against the insurgents. ∎  (of a weapon) meant for use in attack. ∎  (in a game) of or relating to the team or player who is seeking to score.• n. / əˈfensiv/ an attacking military campaign: an impending military offensive against the guerrillas. ∎  an organized and forceful campaign to achieve something, typically a political or social end: the need to launch an offensive against crime.PHRASES: be on the offensive act or be ready to act aggressively.go on (or take) the offensive take the initiative by beginning to attack or act aggressively: security forces took the offensive ten days ago.DERIVATIVES: of·fen·sive·ly adv.of·fen·sive·ness n.