• (British, America, Australia) IPA: /əˈtæk/, [əˈtʰæk]

attack (plural attacks)

  1. An attempt to cause damage, injury to, or death of opponent or enemy.
  2. An attempt to detract from the worth or credibility of, a person, position, idea, object, or thing, by physical, verbal, emotional, or other assault.
    They claimed the censorship of the article was an attack on free speech.
  3. A time in which one attacks; the offence of a battle.
    The army timed their attack to coincide with the local celebrations.
  4. (informal, by extension) The beginning of active operations on anything.
    Having washed the plates from dinner, I made an attack on the laundry.
  5. (computing) An attempt to exploit a vulnerability in a computer system.
    birthday attack; denial-of-service attack
  6. (cricket) Collectively, the bowlers of a cricket side.
  7. (volleyball) Any contact with the ball other than a serve or block which sends the ball across the plane of the net.
    Synonyms: hit, spike
  8. (lacrosse) The three attackmen on the field or all the attackmen of a team.
  9. (medicine) The sudden onset of a disease or condition.
    I've had an attack of the flu.
  10. An active episode of a chronic or recurrent disease.
  11. (music) The onset of a musical note, particularly with respect to the strength (and duration) of that onset.
    Antonyms: decay, release
  12. (audio) The amount of time it takes for the volume of an audio signal to go from zero to maximum level (e.g. an audio waveform representing a snare drum hit would feature a very fast attack, whereas that of a wave washing to shore would feature a slow attack).
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations
  • Russian: ата́ка
Translations Translations Verb

attack (attacks, present participle attacking; past and past participle attacked)

  1. (transitive) To apply violent force to someone or something.
    This species of snake will only attack humans if it feels threatened.
  2. (transitive) To aggressively challenge a person, idea, etc., with words (particularly in newspaper headlines, because it typesets into less space than "criticize" or similar).
    She published an article attacking the recent pay cuts.
  3. (transitive) To begin to affect; to act upon injuriously or destructively; to begin to decompose or waste.
    • 18, Thomas Babington Macaulay, chapter 25, in The History of England from the Accession of James the Second, volume (please specify ), London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, OCLC 1069526323 ↗:
    • Hydrofluoric acid […] attacks the glass.
  4. (transitive) To deal with something in a direct way; to set to work upon.
    We’ll have dinner before we attack the biology homework.
    I attacked the meal with a hearty appetite.
  5. (transitive, cricket) To aim balls at the batsman’s wicket.
  6. (intransitive, cricket) To set a field, or bowl in a manner designed to get wickets.
  7. (intransitive, cricket) To bat aggressively, so as to score runs quickly.
  8. (soccer) To move forward in an active attempt to score a point, as opposed to trying not to concede.
  9. (cycling) To accelerate quickly in an attempt to get ahead of the other riders.
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