Legal Definition and Related Resources of Offense

Meaning of Offense

A crime or violation of a statute , generally entailing punitive consequences. The word is defined in 18 U.S.C. §3152(2) as follows: The term offense means any criminal offense, other than an offense triable by court martial, military commission , provost court, or other military tribunal , which is in violation of an A ct of Congress and is triable in any court established by A ct of Congress.

Offense Alternative Definition

In criminal law. The doing that which a penal law forbids to be done, or omitting to do what it commands. In this sense, it is nearly synonymous with crime. In a more confined sense, it may be considered as having the same meaning with misdemeanor; but it differs from it in this, that it is not indictable, but punishable summarily by the forfeiture of a penalty. 1 Chit. Prac. 14.

Synonyms of Offense


  • aggression
  • assault
  • attack
  • breach
  • breach of the law
  • breaking of the law
  • crime
  • criminal act
  • criminal deed
  • criminality
  • delict
  • delictum
  • delinquency
  • disobedience
  • encroachment
  • evil behavior
  • evil deed
  • failure
  • felony
  • illegal act
  • illegal conduct
  • illegality
  • impropriety
  • infraction
  • infringement
  • injury
  • inobservance
  • lawbreaking
  • lawlessness
  • malefaction
  • malfeasance
  • malpractice
  • malversation
  • misconduct
  • misdeed
  • misdemeanor
  • misdoing
  • misfeasance
  • misprision
  • noncompliance
  • nonobservance
  • offensio
  • official misconduct
  • omission
  • outrage
  • pecability
  • peccatum
  • transgression
  • umbrage
  • unlawful act
  • unrighteousness
  • violation
  • violation of law
  • violation of orders
  • wrong
  • wrongdoing
  • wrongfulness Associated Concepts: bailable offense
  • capital offense
  • charged with an offense
  • compound offense
  • continuing offense
  • degree of offense
  • grave offense
  • lesser offense
  • minor offense
  • offense against public decency
  • offense at common law
  • petty offense
  • prior offense
  • public offenseforeign phrases: Peccata contra naturam sunt gravissima

Related Entries of Offense in the Encyclopedia of Law Project

Browse or run a search for Offense in the American Encyclopedia of Law, the Asian Encyclopedia of Law, the European Encyclopedia of Law, the UK Encyclopedia of Law or the Latin American and Spanish Encyclopedia of Law.

Offense in Historical Law

You might be interested in the historical meaning of this term. Browse or search for Offense in Historical Law in the Encyclopedia of Law.

Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms

Search for legal acronyms and/or abbreviations containing Offense in the Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms Dictionary.

Related Legal Terms

You might be also interested in these legal terms:

Mentioned in these terms

Abduction, Accomplice, Accusation, Amnesty, Armed Robbery, Arson, Attempt, Autrefois Acquit, Barratry, Battery, Between, Bigamy, Bill Of Particulars, Breaking And Entering, Champerty, Condonation, Connivance, Conspiracy, Corroboration, Count, Culprit, Double Jeopardy, Eavesdropping, Embezzlement, Embracery, Engrossing, Entrapment, Extortion, Fail To Stop, Felony, Forcible Entry, Forgery, Fortune Telling, Security For Good Behavior, Heresy, Impeachment, Included Offense, Indeterminate Sentence, Indictment, Inevitable Accident, Informant, Intoxication, Kidnap, Larceny, Lucid Interval, Manslaughter, Merger, Misbehavior, Misprison Of Felony, Multiplicity, Pardon, Perjury, Petty Offense, Poaching, Political, Pound Breach, Preparation, Preventive Justice, Prison, Ransom, Reasonable Grounds, Recognisance, Regrating, , Scold, Search, Sentence, Simple Larceny, Slander Per Se, Statutory Offense, Statutory Rape, Subornation Of Perjury.

Translate Offense from English to Spanish

Translation of Offense , with examples. More about free online translation into Spanish of Delito and other legal terms is available here.


You might be interested in these references tools:

Resource Description
Offense in the Dictionary Offense in our legal dictionaries
Browse the Legal Thesaurus Find synonyms and related words of Offense
Legal Maxims Maxims are established principles that jurists use as interpretive tools, invoked more frequently in international law
Legal Answers (Q&A) A community-driven knowledge creation process, of enduring value to a broad audience
Related topics Offense in the World Encyclopedia of Law


This definition of Offense is based on the The Cyclopedic Law Dictionary . This entry needs to be proofread.

Vocabularies (Semantic Web Information)


Resource Description
Topic Map A group of names, occurrences and associations
Topic Tree A topic display format, showing the hierarchy
Sitemap Index Sitemap Index, including Taxonomies The URI of Offense (more about URIs)

English Spanish Translation of Offense

Infracción, delito, acto punible, contravención

Find other English to Spanish translations from the Pocket Spanish English Legal Dictionary (print and online), the English to Spanish to English dictionaries (like Offense) and the Word reference legal translator.


This term is a noun.

Etimology of Offense

(You may find offense at the world legal encyclopedia and the etimology of more terms).

late 14c., “hurt, harm, injury, pain,” from Old French ofense “offense, insult, wrong” (13c.) and directly from Latin offensa “an offense, injury, affront, crime,” literally “a striking against,” noun use of femenine past participle of offendere (see offend). Meaning “action of attacking” and “feeling of being hurt” are both first recorded c. 1400. Sense of “breach of the law, transgression” is first recorded late 14c. Sporting sense first recorded 1894.



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