offence - definition and synonyms


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  1. 1
    [countable] a crime or illegal activity for which there is a punishment
    criminal offence:

    Killing these animals is a criminal offence.

    minor offence:

    minor offences such as vandalism

    commit an offence:

    She had committed no offence under military law.

    convict someone of an offence:

    Walker was convicted of a similar offence in 1997.

    first/second etc offence:

    The usual fine is £15 to £100 for a first offence.

    be charged with an offence:

    Those arrested have been charged with public order offences.

  2. 2
    [uncountable] the feeling of being angry, upset, or insulted, caused by something that someone says or does
    cause/give offence:

    complaints about advertisements that cause offence

  3. 3
    [countable] something that makes you feel angry and upset because it is insulting, unfair, or morally wrong
    offence to:

    a building that is an offence to good taste

  4. 4
    [uncountable] formal the process of attacking someone or something

    weapons of offence