Offence is the British spelling of offense, meaning "a punishable act." If you break a law for the first time, it’s your first offence.

The noun offence comes from the Latin word offendere, which means “strike against.” Any time you break a law or a rule it is an offence against that law or rule. Also meaning "rudeness" — or the anger caused by it. In countries like the United States, the preferred spelling is offense, so don't take offense if someone corrects you.

Primary Meanings of offence

a lack of politeness; a failure to show regard for others; wounding the feelings or others
(criminal law) an act punishable by law; usually considered an evil act
the team that has the ball (or puck) and is trying to score
Full Definitions of offence

n a lack of politeness; a failure to show regard for others; wounding the feelings or others

discourtesy, offense, offensive activity
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derision, ridicule
the act of deriding or treating with contempt
an impolite act or expression
an offensive disrespectful impudent act
affront, insult
a deliberately offensive act or something producing the effect of deliberate disrespect
a kind of discourtesy in the form of an act of presuming
rebuff, slight
a deliberate discourteous act (usually as an expression of anger or disapproval)
the act of mocking or ridiculing
an affront to one's dignity or self-esteem
outrage, scandalisation, scandalization
the act of scandalizing
cold shoulder, cut, snub
a refusal to recognize someone you know
silent treatment
an aloof refusal to speak to someone you know
Type of:
behavior, behaviour, conduct, doings
manner of acting or controlling yourself

n a feeling of anger caused by being offended

“he took offence at my question”
offense, umbrage
Type of:
anger, choler, ire
a strong emotion; a feeling that is oriented toward some real or supposed grievance

n (criminal law) an act punishable by law; usually considered an evil act

crime, criminal offence, criminal offense, law-breaking, offense
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the offense of vexatiously persisting in inciting lawsuits and quarrels
capital offense
a crime so serious that capital punishment is considered appropriate
crime committed using a computer and the internet to steal a person's identity or sell contraband or stalk victims or disrupt operations with malevolent programs
a serious crime (such as murder or arson)
criminal falsification by making or altering an instrument with intent to defraud
intentional deception resulting in injury to another person
Had crime
(Islam) serious crimes committed by Muslims and punishable by punishments established in the Koran
highjack, hijack
seizure of a vehicle in transit either to rob it or divert it to an alternate destination
the willful and unlawful crippling or mutilation of another person
infraction, infringement, misdemeanor, misdemeanour, violation
a crime less serious than a felony
commission, committal, perpetration
the act of committing a crime
attack, attempt
the act of attacking
Tazir crime
(Islam) minor crimes committed by Muslims; crimes that are not mentioned in the Koran so judges are free to punish the offender in any appropriate way
regulatory offence, regulatory offense, statutory offence, statutory offense
crimes created by statutes and not by common law
violent or brutal acts as of thugs
high treason, lese majesty, treason
a crime that undermines the offender's government
vice crime
a vice that is illegal
victimless crime
an act that is legally a crime but that seem to have no victims
war crime
a crime committed in wartime; violation of rules of war
the violent theft of an occupied car
harlotry, prostitution, whoredom
offering sexual intercourse for pay
a threatened or attempted physical attack by someone who appears to be able to cause bodily harm if not stopped
(maritime law) a fraudulent breach of duty by the master of a ship that injures the owner of the ship or its cargo; includes every breach of trust such as stealing or sinking or deserting the ship or embezzling the cargo
breach of the peace, disorderly behavior, disorderly conduct, disturbance of the peace
any act of molesting, interrupting, hindering, agitating, or arousing from a state of repose or otherwise depriving inhabitants of the peace and quiet to which they are entitled
false pretence, false pretense
(law) an offense involving intent to defraud and false representation and obtaining property as a result of that misrepresentation
indecent exposure, public nudity
vulgar and offensive nakedness in a public place
bearing false witness, lying under oath, perjury
criminal offense of making false statements under oath
an illegal action inciting resistance to lawful authority and tending to cause the disruption or overthrow of the government
sex crime, sex offense, sexual abuse, sexual assault
a statutory offense that provides that it is a crime to knowingly cause another person to engage in an unwanted sexual act by force or threat
the offense of marrying someone while you have a living spouse from whom no valid divorce has occurred
capture, seizure
the act of taking of a person by force
engaging in a racket
bribery, graft
the practice of offering something (usually money) in order to gain an illicit advantage
identity theft
the co-option of another person's personal information (e.g., name, Social Security number, credit card number, passport) without that person's knowledge and the fraudulent use of such knowledge
mail fraud
use of the mails to defraud someone
election fraud
misrepresentation or alteration of the true results of an election
constructive fraud, legal fraud
comprises all acts or omissions or concealments involving breach of equitable or legal duty or trust or confidence
collateral fraud, extrinsic fraud
fraud that prevents a party from knowing their rights or from having a fair opportunity of presenting them at trial
fraud in fact, positive fraud
actual deceit; concealing something or making a false representation with an evil intent to cause injury to another
fraud in the factum
fraud that arises from a disparity between the instrument intended to be executed and the instrument actually executed; e.g., leading someone to sign the wrong contract
fraud in the inducement
fraud which intentionally causes a person to execute and instrument or make an agreement or render a judgment; e.g., misleading someone about the true facts
intrinsic fraud
fraud (as by use of forged documents or false claims or perjury) that misleads a court or jury and induces a finding for the one perpetrating the fraud
cheat, rig, swindle
the act of swindling by some fraudulent scheme
larceny, stealing, theft, thievery, thieving
the act of taking something from someone unlawfully
the felonious act of extorting money (as by threats of violence)
entering a building unlawfully with intent to commit a felony or to steal valuable property
Type of:
evildoing, transgression
the act of transgressing; the violation of a law or a duty or moral principle

n the action of attacking an enemy

offense, offensive
a large scale offensive (more than a counterattack) undertaken by a defending force to seize the initiative from an attacking force
dirty war
an offensive conducted by secret police or the military of a regime against revolutionary and terrorist insurgents and marked by the use of kidnapping and torture and murder with civilians often being the victims
push back, rollback
the act of forcing the enemy to withdraw
Type of:
military operation, operation
activity by a military or naval force (as a maneuver or campaign)

n the team that has the ball (or puck) and is trying to score

defence, defending team, defense
(sports) the team that is trying to prevent the other team from scoring
Type of:
squad, team
a cooperative unit (especially in sports)

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