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Borrowed from French attaque, derived from the verb attaquer, from Italian attaccare (“to join, attach”) (used in attaccare battaglia (“to join battle”)), from Frankish *stakka (“stick”). Doublet of attach.
attack (plural attacks)
- An attempt to cause damage, injury to, or death of opponent or enemy.
- An attempt to detract from the worth or credibility of, a person, position, idea, object, or thing, by physical, verbal, emotional, or other assault.
- 2013 July 19, Mark Tran, “Denied an education by war”, in 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 on free speech.
- A time in which one attacks; the offence of a battle.
- The army timed their attack to coincide with the local celebrations.
- (informal, by extension) The beginning of active operations on anything.
- Having washed the plates from dinner, I made an attack on the laundry.
- (cricket) Collectively, the bowlers of a cricket side.
- (volleyball) Any contact with the ball other than a serve or block which sends the ball across the plane of the net.
- (lacrosse) The three attackmen on the field or all the attackmen of a team.
- (medicine) The sudden onset of a disease or condition.
- I've had an attack of the flu.
- An active episode of a chronic or recurrent disease.
- (music) The onset of a musical note, particularly with respect to the strength (and duration) of that onset.
- (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).
- See also Thesaurus:attack
Hyponyms of attack
attempt to cause damage or injury
offense of a battle
cricket: bowlers of a cricket side
volleyball: hit other than serve or block that sends the ball over the net
medicine: sudden onset of a disease
amount of time it takes for the volume of an audio signal to go from zero to maximum level
- (transitive) To apply violent force to someone or something.
- This species of snake will only attack humans if it feels threatened.
- (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.
- 2012 June 3, Nathan Rabin, “TV: Review: THE SIMPSONS (CLASSIC): “Mr. Plow” (season 4, episode 9; originally aired 11/19/1992)”, in The A.V. Club, Fusion Media Group:
- In its God-like prime, The Simpsons attacked well-worn satirical fodder from unexpected angles, finding fresh laughs in the hoariest of subjects.
- (transitive) To begin to affect; to act upon injuriously or destructively; to begin to decompose or waste.
- On the fourth of March he was attacked by fever.
- B. Stewart
- Hydrofluoric acid […] attacks the glass.
- (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.
- (transitive, cricket) To aim balls at the batsman’s wicket.
- (intransitive, cricket) To set a field, or bowl in a manner designed to get wickets.
- (intransitive, cricket) To bat aggressively, so as to score runs quickly.
- (soccer) To move forward in an active attempt to score a point, as opposed to trying not to concede.
- 2011 October 15, Michael Da Silva, “Wigan 1 - 3 Bolton”, in 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.
- (cycling) To accelerate quickly in an attempt to get ahead of the other riders.
- See also Thesaurus:attack
to apply violent force
to aggressively challenge with words
cricket: to aim balls at the batsman’s wicket
cricket: to set a field, or bowl in a manner designed to get wickets
soccer: to move forward in an attempt to score point
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.
Translations to be checked
- attack in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
- attack in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911
- attack at OneLook Dictionary Search
|Declension of attack|