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  1. at·tack
    IPA[əˈtak]
  2. verb

    • 1. take aggressive action against (a place or enemy forces) with weapons or armed force, typically in a battle or war:

      in December, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor Italian forces attacked in October
      Synonym : begin an assault, charge, pounce, strike, begin hostilities, ambush, bombard, shell, blitz, strafe, fire on/at, rush, storm
    • 2. (of a person or animal) act against (someone or something) aggressively in an attempt to injure or kill:

      a doctor was attacked by two youths
      Synonym : assault, beat, beat up, batter, thrash, pound, pummel, assail, set upon, fall upon, strike at, let fly at, tear into, lash out at, aggress, ambush, mug, pounce on, jump, paste, do over, work over, knock around, rough up, lay into, lace into, sail into, pitch into, get stuck into, beat the living daylights out of, let someone have it, set about, have a go at, duff someone up, beat up on, light into
    • 3. (of a disease, chemical substance, or insect) act harmfully on:

      the disease is thought to attack certain cells in the brain
      Synonym : affect, have an effect on, strike, strike at, take hold of, infect, damage, injure
    • 4. criticize or oppose fiercely and publicly:

      he attacked the government's defense policy
      Synonym : criticize, censure, condemn, castigate, chastise, lambaste, pillory, savage, find fault with, fulminate against, abuse, berate, reprove, rebuke, reprimand, admonish, remonstrate with, reproach, take to task, haul over the coals, impugn, harangue, blame, revile, vilify, give someone a bad press, knock, slam, take to pieces, pull apart, crucify, bash, hammer, lay into, tear into, sail into, roast, give someone a roasting, cane, blast, bawl out, dress down, rap over the knuckles, have a go at, give someone hell, carpet, slate, slag off, rubbish, monster, rollick, give someone a rollicking, give someone a rocket, tear someone off a strip, tear a strip off someone, chew out, ream out, pummel, cut up, bag, bollock, give someone a bollocking, rate, slash, excoriate, objurgate, reprehend
    • 5. begin to deal with (a problem or task) in a determined and vigorous way:

      a plan of action to attack unemployment
      Synonym : attend to, address, see to, deal with, grapple with, confront, direct one's attention to, focus on, concentrate on, apply oneself to, buckle down to, get to work on, go to work on, set to work on, set about, get started on, undertake, embark on, get stuck into, get cracking on, get weaving on, have a crack at, have a go at, have a shot at, have a stab at
    • 6. make an aggressive or forceful attempt to score a goal or point, or gain or exploit an advantage in a game against an opposing team or player:

      the home team attacked from the kick off
    • 7. move into or be in a position to capture (an opponent's piece).

    • 8. (of a reagent or reactive species) approach and interact with (an atom, group, or bond in a molecule), thereby breaking a bond or forming a new bond:

      the nucleophile attacks the epoxide from the opposite side of the ring to the oxygen

    noun

  3. Variation

    • n.: noun: attack, plural noun: attacks

    • v.: verb: attack, 3rd person present: attacks, gerund or present participle: attacking, past tense: attacked, past participle: attacked

    • verb

      take aggressive military action against (a place or enemy forces) with weapons or armed force:

      act against (someone or something) aggressively in an attempt to injure or kill:

    • noun

      an aggressive and violent act against a person or place:

      destructive action by a disease, chemical, or insect:

    • noun

      a dog trained to attack on command and kept for this purpose.

      a person who is very aggressive in defense or support of someone or something:

    • noun

      a sudden and sometimes fatal occurrence of coronary thrombosis, typically resulting in the death of part of a heart muscle:
    • noun

      a sudden feeling of acute and disabling anxiety:
    • subject to aggressive, violent, or harmful action
    • noun

      an attempted illegal entry to a computer system that uses a dictionary headword list to generate possible passwords.
    • noun

      a military campaign conducted using troops on the ground:

      a military campaign conducted by aircraft against targets on the ground:

    • noun

      a dog trained to attack on command and kept for this purpose.

      a person who is very aggressive in their defence or support of someone or something:

    • noun

      a sudden occurrence of coronary thrombosis, typically resulting in the death of part of a heart muscle and sometimes fatal:

      used in reference to a reaction of shock or great surprise:

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