From King Dictionary of Contemporary English
Related topics: Crime, Military
offenceof‧fence British English, offense American English /əˈfens/ ●●● S3 W2 noun 1 [countable]SCCCRIME an illegal action or a crime His solicitor said he committed the offence because he was heavily in debt.offence against sexual offences against childrensee thesaurus at crime2 [uncountable]OFFEND when you offend or upset someone by something you do or saycause/give offence The problem was how to say ‘no’ to her without causing offence. Don’t be upset by what he said; he meant no offence (=did not intend to offend anyone).3 no offence4 take offence (at something)5 [uncountable] formalPMATTACK the act of attacking the weapon of offence used during the attackCOLLOCATIONSverbscommit an offence (=do something that is against the law)He had committed the offence of dangerous driving.charge somebody with an offenceIn that year, 367 people were charged with terrorist offences.convict somebody of an offence (=say officially that they are guilty)The number of women convicted of serious offences is fairly small.admit an offenceHe had admitted sex offences against children.phrasesit is an offence to do somethingIt is an offence to carry a weapon in a public offence punishable by/with somethingPossession of the drug is an offence punishable by up to one year’s imprisonment.make something an offence/make it an offence to do somethingThe Act made it an offence to sell cigarettes to children under 16. ADJECTIVES/NOUN + offencea criminal offenceIt is a criminal offence to sell alcohol to someone under the age of 18.a serious offenceserious offences such as murder or armed robberya minor offenceThe police cautioned him for a minor offence.a first offenceBecause it was a first offence, she was not sent to prison.a lesser offence (=one that is not as serious as another offence)For rioting you can receive ten years in prison, while for the lesser offence of violent disorder you can receive five years in prison.a federal offense American English (=a very serious offence against the law of the US, rather than against a state’s law)The turtles are rare, and it is a federal offense to take them to another state.a driving/parking/traffic offenceSpeeding is the most common traffic offence.a sex/drug/terrorist etc offenceThirty-three people were charged with drug offences.a punishable offence (=one that you can be punished for)Lying in court is a punishable offense.a capital offence (=one for which death is the punishment)Drug smuggling was made a capital offense in arrestable/indictable offence (=one that you can be arrested for or must go to court for)Indictable offences are tried by a jury in a Crown Court.
Examples from the Corpus
offenceIt became an offence for anyone in charge of children to allow them to bet in public places or to enter brothels.Davies claimed that he did not know he was committing an offence by accessing the website.It is an offence for companies to recruit a non-disabled worker when they are below the quota.It is an offence for a shopkeeper to sell alcohol to anyone under 18.Travelling on the train without a ticket is an offence.Driving when drunk is a criminal offence.The bill seeks to make it a criminal offence to inflict cruelty on any animal.Bates is being tried for offences committed in the early 1990s.Motorists can be fined on the spot for minor offences, such as speeding.Hewson was arrested for a number of minor offences.He would deck himself out in the kind of clothes that would give most offence to her were she alive.Most of its historical anomalies survive in the present offence.A second offence carries a life ban.That phrase is read narrowly to convict the accused of handling rather than theft, handling being a more serious offence than theft.The number of women convicted of serious offences is still relatively small.Speeding offences are usually punishable by a fine.He attributed the offence to pressure from his friends to carry the scheme out, when it was thought up.cause/give offenceOn the down side, domestic broadcasters decided to ban any songs or plays that could cause offence.I quite understand that this implication has caused offence or distress to some people, for which I apologise.The King's religious policies, strictly applied by Archbishop Laud, gave offence to the Puritan merchants and artisans.This does not mean that we shall shy away from tackling difficult subjects that may cause offence.No need to accept every one of the invitations which kept on being delivered because of Amabel's fear of giving offence.He was sensitive, vulnerable, amazed when his honest truths gave offence.What causes offence is that he merely represents a shifting of values for the mass of young people.
From King Business Dictionaryoffenceof‧fence /əˈfens/ British English, offense American English noun1[countable]LAW an illegal action or a crimeThe 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 upsetAs a manager, you must know how to handle a difficult customer without giving offence.