1. [ verb ] (military) launch an attack or assault on; begin hostilities with, as in warfare
Synonyms: assail

"Hitler attacked Poland on September 1, 1939 and started World War II" "Serbian forces assailed Bosnian towns all week"

Related terms: defend fight strike invade bomb raid besiege gas counterattack pepper strafe bombard storm torpedo cannonade submarine blitz attacker
2. [ noun ] (military) an offensive against and enemy (using weapons)
Synonyms: onslaught onrush onset

"the attack began at dawn"

Related terms: operation strike fire charge bombing penetration counterattack diversion blitz banzai_attack surprise_attack ground_attack strafe assault military
3. [ noun ] the onset of a corrosive or destructive process (as by a chemical agent)

"the film was sensitive to attack by acids" "open to attack by the elements"

Related terms: degeneration
4. [ verb ] attack verbally, in speech or writing
Synonyms: assail lash_out snipe assault round

"The editors of the left-leaning paper attacked the new House Speaker"

Related terms: criticize abuse vitriol whang blister rip claw rubbish barrage attacker
5. [ verb ] take the initiative and go on the offensive
Synonyms: aggress

: "The Serbs attacked the village at night" "The visiting team started to attack"

Related terms: act tackle fork harass check pin attacker aggression
6. [ verb ] attack someone physically or emotionally
Synonyms: assault assail set_on

"The mugger assaulted the woman" "Nightmares assailed him regularly"

Related terms: rush jump rape beset molest desecrate reassail blindside savage sic bulldog bait attacker
7. [ noun ] (sport) an offensive move in a sport or game

"they won the game with a 10-hit attack in the 9th inning"

Related terms: turn counterattack
8. [ noun ] intense adverse criticism
Synonyms: flak blast flack fire

"Clinton directed his fire at the Republican Party" "the government has come under attack" "don't give me any flak"

Related terms: criticism
9. [ noun ] ideas or actions intended to deal with a problem or situation
Synonyms: approach plan_of_attack

"his approach to every problem is to draw up a list of pros and cons" "an attack on inflation" "his plan of attack was misguided"

Related terms: conceptualization avenue set_about
10. [ verb ] set to work upon; turn one's energies vigorously to a task

"I attacked the problem as soon as I got out of bed"

Related terms: begin attacker
11. [ noun ] (law,criminal law) the act of attacking
Synonyms: attempt

"attacks on women increased last year" "they made an attempt on his life"

Related terms: crime battery assault assail
12. [ adjective ] used in an attack
Synonyms: assault

"assault weapons", "attack planes"

Related terms: offensive
13. [ noun ] (music) a decisive manner of beginning a musical tone or phrase
Synonyms: tone-beginning
Related terms: beginning
14. [ noun ] strong criticism

"he published an unexpected attack on my work"

Related terms: criticism aspersion
15. [ verb ] begin to injure

"The cancer cells are attacking his liver" "Rust is attacking the metal"

Related terms: affect
16. [ noun ] (medicine) a sudden occurrence of an uncontrollable condition

"an attack of diarrhea"

Related terms: affliction seizure paroxysm occlusion stroke heart_attack flare touch hysterics anxiety_attack
17. [ noun ] turning your attention to a problem or a job etc.
Synonyms: tone-beginning assault

"his attack on the problem was misguided" "he did not make a direct assault on her affections"

Related terms: attention beginning
Similar spelling:   attach