offensive

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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

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

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!

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

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 ?
Third, we conducted a multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA), using ethnic group and gender as independent variables and composite subscales of perceived discrimination, scales of degree of discrimination, and degree of offensiveness manifested as dependent variables.
To fill this gap, the current study investigates the effect of three factors--types of remedial accounts, gender of participants, and types of sexually harassing behavior--on three dependent variables (third-parties' judgments of sexual harassment, perceived offensiveness of the behavior, and the perceived need for disciplinary action).
A fourth way of reducing offensiveness is transcendence, which attempts to place the act in a more favorable context.
The McCanns' spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, said the offensiveness of the game spoke for itself and Cards Against Humanity should cut all references to Madeleine in future editions.
In terms of offensiveness, her simple commentary pales in comparison with this imperative.
Why stop at football supporters when there are so many other sources of offensiveness in offensiveness society?
Another suggested drastic action to stem the tide of offensiveness, writing: "Does she actually think about the things before she writes them?
Problem is, its inoffensiveness approaches offensiveness from time to time and as for her version of Frankie Goes To Hollywood's The Power of Love, let us never speak of it again.
Reactions to either re-gifting or throwing a present away were measured on an 'offensiveness scale'.
Respondents answered questions regarding level of offensiveness and whether or not they would wear the T-shirt in the photograph.
The new romantic comedy from director Robert Luketic (Legally Blonde) is very funny in places and politically incorrect to the point of offensiveness in others.
The new romantic comedy from director Robert Luketic (Legally Blonde, Monster-In-Law) is uproariously funny in places and politically incorrect to the point of offensiveness in others, building to a contrived denouement that will surprise no one, apart from female viewers who may flinch at the underlying message that a woman should flaunt her cleavage and leave her brain in a make-up bag to land her dream man.
Hugh Dennis, Russell Howard and Andy Parsons are all fine but week after week the Glaswegian - usually successfully - manages to reach heights of offensiveness that most of us can only aspire to.