offensive

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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: go, 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 offensive

To be in a mode of attack or aggressive action as a means of gaining an advantage; to be on the attack. If you aren't on the offensive as soon as the debate starts, your opponent is going to walk all over you! After spending weeks dodging scandal, his campaign is on the offensive again, accusing his opponent of misstating the facts.
See also: offensive, on

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: go, offensive, on
References in periodicals archive ?
All around me last night were Python fans itching to meet the ferociously demanding Knights who say "Ni" and those French soldiers whose elaborate offensiveness when confronted with an Englishman (particularly one wearing a crown) knows no bounds: "Your muzzer eez a hamsteur and your fazzer smells of.
In any case, there is no one who believes that Prince Charles would be guilty of any form of racial offensiveness.
As with "Sunshine," this is a film that doesn't mind skirting the edges of offensiveness, but it's an equal opportunity offender, and avoids the mean-spiritedness of "Waiting for Guffman," another film with which it has been inappropriately compared.
The latest exhibition is almost too banal to achieve offensiveness, an ambition doubtless within the mindset of the promoters.
British comedian Cohen - whose family come from Wales - appears in the film as an apparently naive reporter whose enthusiastic offensiveness either leaves his US interviewees in shock, or persuades them to reveal their prejudices.
Since the match was made, propaganda has criss-crossed the Irish Sea in increasing offensiveness and Magee cheerfully confesses: "I started it.
By distinguishing between "threatening or humiliating" conduct and mere offensiveness, Harris did enable some courts to roll back harassment litigation.
Uninhibited about discussing penises, multiple orgasms and various sexual peccadilloes (not to mention littering his script with four-letter words), Dubac retains his handsome savoir-faire, skirts offensiveness and charms his audience.
Enriched with weapons-grade offensiveness, Sacha Baron Cohen's most recent film crashes onto DVD, the upshot being a rising mushroom cloud of appalled laughs.
The McCanns' spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "The offensiveness of this activist's actions is almost beyond belief.
THE BBC continues to paddle around in its muddy puddle of obscenity and offensiveness.
After all, as Patrick Jones surely knows, such offensiveness is neither courageous nor unconventional.
He said that more than 1,000 indecent images at the two lowest levels of offensiveness were found on Nixon's computer, a dozen were the next level up, eight at the fourth level and two at the most serious level.
With each role a stereotype of some sort, they cancel out any possible offensiveness, and provide juicy opportunities for a solid cast.