offensive

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Related to offensives: take the offensive

go on the offensive

To begin attacking someone or adopting an aggressive attitude or position as a means of gaining a pre-emptive advantage. If you don't go on the offensive as soon as the debate starts, your opponent is going to walk all over you! Every time Mike and I start to fight, he immediately goes on the offensive and won't listen to my side of things.
See also: offensive, on

take the offensive

To begin attacking someone or adopting an aggressive attitude or position as a means of gaining a pre-emptive advantage. If you don't take the offensive as soon as the debate starts, your opponent is going to walk all over you! Every time Mike and I start to fight, he immediately takes the offensive and won't listen to my side of things.
See also: offensive, take

prawn cocktail offensive

The (often derisive) name used for politicians' efforts to gain financial support while attending a social event (where prawn cocktails are traditionally served). Primarily heard in UK. I don't want to go to this dinner party—it's just going to become another prawn cocktail offensive, and I'm sick of people asking me for money!

be on the ofˈfensive

be attacking somebody/something rather than waiting for them to attack you: The Scots were on the offensive for most of the game.The government is very much on the offensive in the fight against drugs. OPPOSITE: on/onto the defensive
See also: offensive, on

go on(to) the ofˈfensive

,

take the ofˈfensive

start attacking somebody/something before they start attacking you: The president decided to take the offensive by developing a new strategy to discourage competition.
See also: offensive, on
References in classic literature ?
Challenger, who, being satisfied that no criticism or comment in this book is meant in an offensive spirit, has guaranteed that he will place no impediment to its publication and circulation.
If this is true, it is not only necessary to have walls, but care must be taken that they may be a proper ornament to the city, as well as a defence in time of war; not only according to the old methods, but the modern improvements also: for as those who make offensive war endeavour by every way possible to gain advantages over their adversaries, so should those who are upon the defensive employ all the means already known, and such new ones as philosophy can invent, to defend themselves: for those who are well prepared are seldom first attacked.
They went away finally with a closing burst of ridicule and offensive epithets.
said she, as though unaware of the cold offensive look fixed on her.
A layman who pried into the professional conduct of medical men, and was always obtruding his reforms,-- though he was less directly embarrassing to the two physicians than to the surgeon-apothecaries who attended paupers by contract, was nevertheless offensive to the professional nostril as such; and Dr.
So it was that White Fang's method when he took the offensive, was: first to find a young dog alone; second, to surprise it and knock it off its feet; and third, to drive in with his teeth at the soft throat.
He became conscious of a mysteriously offensive odour in the room, entirely new in his experience of revolting smells.