Definition of


  1. (noun, act) a decisive manner of beginning a musical tone or phrase
  2. (noun, act) an offensive move in a sport or game
  3. (noun, act) the act of attacking
    they made an attempt on his life
  4. (noun, act) ideas or actions intended to deal with a problem or situation
    an attack on inflation
    his plan of attack was misguided
  5. (noun, act) (military) an offensive against an enemy (using weapons)
  6. (noun, act) strong criticism
  7. (noun, communication) intense adverse criticism
    the government has come under attack
    don't give me any flak
  8. (noun, process) the onset of a corrosive or destructive process (as by a chemical agent)
    open to attack by the elements
  9. (noun, state) a sudden occurrence of an uncontrollable condition
  10. (verb, body) begin to injure
    Rust is attacking the metal
  11. (verb, change) set to work upon; turn one's energies vigorously to a task
  12. (verb, communication) attack in speech or writing
  13. (verb, competition) take the initiative and go on the offensive
    The visiting team started to attack
  14. (verb, competition) launch an attack or assault on; begin hostilities or start warfare with
    Serbian forces assailed Bosnian towns all week
  15. (verb, competition) attack someone physically or emotionally
    Nightmares assailed him regularly

via WordNet, Princeton University

Antonyms of Attack


Origin of the word Attack

  1. c.1600, from Fr. attaquer (16c.), from Florentine attaccare (battaglia) "join (battle)," thus the word is a doublet of attach, which was also used 15c.-17c. in the sense now reserved to attack. more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

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