offence of‧fence [əˈfens] , offense noun
1. [countable] LAW an illegal action or a crime:

• The company was not aware that it was committing an offence.

It is an offence to sell alcoholic liquor without a licence.

• You may be guilty of a criminal offence.

2. [uncountable] behaviour which makes someone angry or upset:

• As a manager, you must know how to handle a difficult customer without giving offence.

* * *

offence UK US }} UK (US offense) /əˈfens/ noun
[C] LAW an illegal act or crime: »

It is a criminal offence to mislead customers about the price of an item.


a serious/major/minor offence

be/become an offence »

It became an offence for British citizens to offer bribes for business contracts anywhere in the world.

commit an offence »

In practising as a solicitor without being duly qualified, he committed an offence.

be accused of/found guilty of/convicted of an offence »

She was convicted of drug offences.

[U] feelings of being upset and angry, often because someone has been rude: »

This advertisement may cause offence in some markets.


She took offence at the way the assistant spoke to her.

a sackable/sacking offence — Cf. a sacking offence

Financial and business terms. 2012.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • offence — BrE usually offense AmE noun 1 (C) an illegal action or a crime: Driving while drunk is a serious offence. | a parking offense (+ against): sexual offences against children | commit an offence (=do something that is an offence) | first offence… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • offence — var of offense Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996. offence …   Law dictionary

  • Offence — Of*fence , n. See {Offense}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • offence — (n.) see OFFENSE (Cf. offense) …   Etymology dictionary

  • offence — (Brit.) of·fence || É™ fens n. attack; (Sports) side that pursues (rather than defends); misdeed; insult; state of being offended; transgression (also offense) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • offence — This is spelt ence in BrE, and offense in AmE …   Modern English usage

  • offence — (US offense) ► NOUN 1) an illegal act; a breach of a law or rule. 2) resentment or hurt. 3) the action of making a military attack. 4) N. Amer. the attacking team in a sport …   English terms dictionary

  • offence — [ə fens′] n. Brit. sp. of OFFENSE …   English World dictionary

  • offence — of|fence W3 BrE offense AmE [əˈfens] n 1.) an illegal action or a crime ▪ The possession of stolen property is a criminal offence. ▪ Punishment for a first offence is a fine. ▪ His solicitor said he committed the offence because he was heavily in …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • offence */*/*/ — UK [əˈfens] / US noun Word forms offence : singular offence plural offences 1) [countable] a crime or illegal activity for which there is a punishment motoring/firearms/public order offences criminal offence: Killing these animals is a criminal… …   English dictionary

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