attack

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowing from French attaque, derived from the verb attaquer, from Italian attaccare (to join, attach) used in attaccare battaglia (to join battle). Cognate with Italian attacca and German Attacke.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

attack (plural attacks)

  1. An attempt to cause damage or injury to, or to somehow detract from the worth or credibility of, a person, position, idea, object, or thing, by physical, verbal, emotional, or other assault.
    • 1913, Robert Barr, chapter 4, Lord Stranleigh Abroad[1]:
      “I came down like a wolf on the fold, didn’t I ?  Why didn’t I telephone ?  Strategy, my dear boy, strategy. This is a surprise attack, and I’d no wish that the garrison, forewarned, should escape. …”
    • 2013 July 19, Mark Tran, “Denied an education by war”, The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 6, page 1: 
      One particularly damaging, but often ignored, effect of conflict on education is the proliferation of attacks on schools [] as children, teachers or school buildings become the targets of attacks. Parents fear sending their children to school. Girls are particularly vulnerable to sexual violence.
    They claimed the censorship of the article was an attack of free speech.
  2. A time in which one attacks. The offence of a battle.
    The army timed their attack to coincide with the local celebrations.
  3. (cricket) Collectively, the bowlers of a cricket side.
  4. (volleyball) Any contact with the ball other than a serve or block which sends the ball across the plane of the net.
  5. (lacrosse) The three attackmen on the field or all the attackmen of a team.
  6. The sudden onset of a disease.
    I´ve had an attack of the flu.
  7. An active episode of a chronic or recurrent disease.
  8. (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[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

attack (third-person singular simple present attacks, present participle attacking, simple 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.
    • Macaulay
      On the fourth of March he was attacked by fever.
    • B. Stewart
      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 attempt to actively score point, as opposed to trying not to concede.
    • 2011 October 15, Michael Da Silva, “Wigan 1 - 3 Bolton”, BBC Sport:
      Six successive defeats had left them rooted to the bottom of the Premier League table but, clearly under instructions to attack from the outset, Bolton started far the brighter.

Synonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]

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External links[edit]


Swedish[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowing from English attack.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

attack c

  1. attack; an attempt to cause damage
  2. attack; offense of a battle

Declension[edit]

Related terms[edit]