Definition of attack in English:

attack

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Take 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’
    no object ‘Italian forces attacked in October’
    • ‘Border clashes worsened when Democratic Kampuchea's military attacked villages in Vietnam.’
    • ‘In some cases such units were as likely to attack friendly towns and forces as enemy ones.’
    • ‘Initially, US sources denied American forces had attacked the village, which consisted mainly of mud huts.’
    • ‘While the band was waiting for authorization to enter the States as working musicians, terrorists attacked the World Trade Centre.’
    • ‘British military forces attacked Mahdi Army positions in Amarah, killing 20 persons and wounding 78.’
    • ‘The dead include civilians, soldiers and the tribal leader Rahim Bezoni, all killed for refusing to back the fight against the British forces attacking the city.’
    • ‘Unidentified armed groups continue to attack villages and connecting roads.’
    • ‘Armies would thus come under fire long before they could even see their enemy, let alone attack his positions.’
    • ‘The militants attack Indian forces almost daily in the mountainous province.’
    • ‘He is also linked, though tenuously, to the men who attacked the World Trade Centre in 1993.’
    • ‘On September 11, 1973 the Chilean armed forces attacked La Moneda, the presidential palace in the centre of Santiago.’
    • ‘Just two years ago, a trade delegation from the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region was also attacked by separatists here, resulting in one death and two injuries.’
    • ‘The government deployed additional military forces to attack terrorist strongholds.’
    • ‘We restricted attacks north of certain areas; we didn't attack the enemy's capital.’
    • ‘I was in Louisville, Kentucky, on a book tour when terrorists attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.’
    • ‘Coalition forces weren't attacked with weapons of mass destruction.’
    • ‘The militants attacked the camp around dawn, firing indiscriminately at guards posted at the main gate.’
    • ‘In preparation for urban warfare, the soldiers practised responding to a vehicle ambush, clearing buildings and attacking enemy positions.’
    • ‘France controlled most of that territory until 1759 when British forces attacked Quebec City.’
    • ‘The Blackfoot became respected as an aggressive military force, attacking and destroying several trading posts in their territory.’
    • ‘The Chinese Eastern Railway was attacked not merely by rebels but by regular troops.’
    • ‘Then he encouraged his men to attack enemy positions, despite the lethal danger from incoming artillery rounds.’
    begin an assault, charge, pounce, strike, begin hostilities, ambush
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (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’
      • ‘But immediately after the elections violence broke out and several houses were set on fire and people were attacked and killed.’
      • ‘Dolphins, however, are known to kill sharks by attacking their soft bellies with hard blows from their beaks.’
      • ‘He was brutally killed by thieves who attacked him at his home in Belmont.’
      • ‘A plumber named Joe is attacked and killed in the basement, and a long dead corpse is discovered.’
      • ‘Another incident occurred in September, when a married couple were killed after they were attacked by an elephant in Pandan Wangi, Indragiri regency, Riau.’
      • ‘I have a friend who was nearly killed when he was attacked in his apartment with knives from his kitchen, so I understand what the researchers are trying to do here.’
      • ‘He shivered inside when he recalled the coolness with which she had said that she had killed the woman who attacked her.’
      • ‘They also claimed the family's Rottweiler dog had attacked another dog, killed one woman's cat and gone for another woman in the street leaving her shaken up.’
      • ‘However, on a number of occasions in 1999 and 2000 their dogs attacked his animals and killed 22 of them.’
      • ‘He was attacked, killed and later thrown into the river.’
      • ‘The Plaintiff's daughter was attacked and killed by him.’
      • ‘A brave Whitefield man has told how he fought off two thugs who attacked him as they attempted to steal his high-performance Mini.’
      • ‘An unnamed woman was attacked and killed by a crocodile while crossing the Enseleni River north of Empangeni early yesterday morning.’
      • ‘There I spoke to a woman whose mother was attacked and injured by a Komodo dragon - which raised the issue of humans as prey.’
      • ‘She also assured us that the jaguar is not a man-eater - in fact there are no recorded cases of a person being attacked or killed by a jaguar in an unprovoked situation.’
      • ‘Khadse made headlines when he was brought in to trap panthers after 13 people were attacked and killed by the animals.’
      • ‘The wife of a York man who nearly died after being savagely attacked by a gang of youths has publicly thanked the people who saved her husband's life.’
      • ‘One outdoor magazine recently documented the case of a man who killed a bear that attacked him.’
      • ‘He was on holiday in Venezuela with his wife when he was attacked and killed.’
      • ‘Police said the man was shot and killed when he attempted to attack police.’
      • ‘We realised that it must have been the same person who killed Tammy who also attacked you.’
      assault, beat, beat up, batter, thrash, pound, pummel, assail, set upon, fall upon, set about, strike at, let fly at, tear into, lash out at, aggress
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 (of a disease, chemical substance, or insect) act harmfully on.
      ‘the disease is thought to attack certain cells in the brain’
      • ‘The disease usually attacks the lungs but can affect almost any part of the body and is usually curable with an intensive six-month course of antibiotics.’
      • ‘The lack of nutrients in the white-sand soil means that plants cannot afford to be attacked by insects, because lost leaf tissue is difficult to replace.’
      • ‘Now suffering from lupus, a cruel disease which attacks the body's immune system, she has a quick wit and air of irreverence that still make her a delight to interview.’
      • ‘The disease attacks the liver and can be fatal in a small number of cases.’
      • ‘Leaves attacked by insects or disease, on the other hand, die under duress, spotted and curled.’
      • ‘MS is an incurable disease that attacks the central nervous system causing severe disability.’
      • ‘She said the life-threatening condition developed when her own antibodies attacked the baby's blood cells.’
      • ‘Richard died from the rare degenerative disease which attacks the central nervous system.’
      • ‘Autoimmune diseases result when the immune system attacks the body's own organs, tissues and cells.’
      • ‘It attacks only grapevines, and kills vines by attacking their roots.’
      • ‘Sudden oak death is the snappy title which has been given to a devastating fungal disease attacking oaks and other native shrubs throughout North America.’
      • ‘The trees have been attacked by a bacterial disease known as fire blight.’
      • ‘Ironically, when a tree is attacked by insects, it releases certain compounds which some insects actually use to their advantage.’
      • ‘In 1999 he was diagnosed as being HIV positive, and now, to fight the deadly disease attacking his immune system, he takes drugs to keep himself alive.’
      • ‘Parkinson's disease attacks and destroys these nerve cells, meaning the brain is starved of dopamine.’
      • ‘Relieving stress made sense to me because in my work I had seen that plants under stress were the ones most likely to be attacked by diseases and pests.’
      • ‘Larvae of the grape root borer attack the larger roots and crown of grapevines.’
      • ‘Fungal diseases can attack shoots and leaves but also developing bunches and ripe fruit.’
      • ‘BSE is almost impossible to distinguish from scrapie, a disease attacking the brain of sheep.’
      • ‘The unknown disease attacked over 200 people gathered for an American Legion convention in Philadelphia.’
      • ‘The disease attacks the macula - an area of the retina at the back of the eye that houses light-sensing cells.’
      • ‘The disease had attacked her liver and she slipped into a coma.’
      affect, have an effect on, strike, strike at, take hold of, infect
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3 Criticize or oppose fiercely and publicly.
      ‘he attacked the government's defense policy’
      • ‘Prominent candidates attacked each other fiercely.’
      • ‘His response to the disaster of the war is to attack those who opposed the war.’
      • ‘He recently attacked a German political critic by likening him to a Nazi commandant.’
      • ‘This is not the first time a controversial film has been attacked before its critics have seen a single frame.’
      • ‘In 1818 he attacked Coleridge savagely in a magazine edited by his son-in-law.’
      • ‘Viciously attacked by critics and rejected by the public, the Impressionist painters were outcasts in the art world.’
      • ‘Similarly, Woods is attacked for fiercely defending his privacy.’
      • ‘And I've relied on that audience response ever since, to buoy me through periods when I've been attacked by critics.’
      • ‘Failure to recruit enough doctors and nurses has been criticised in a report attacking west Wiltshire health bosses.’
      • ‘Owenson's status as a professional woman writer was constantly abused by contemporary male reviewers, who savagely attacked everything she wrote.’
      • ‘But critics have attacked the BBC for lavishing public money on non-programming activities at a time of massive cost-cutting in the organisation.’
      • ‘Fully aware of the situation, he is fiercely attacking the administration for its pro-business stances and special-interest politics.’
      • ‘Vettriano now lives in London after selling his Edinburgh home last year claiming he was sick of being attacked by Scottish art critics.’
      • ‘But plans to house the turbines at Pool Hill, near Kitchenroyd, have been fiercely attacked by residents.’
      • ‘In 1892 the lifelong friendship between Lie and Klein broke down and the following year Lie publicly attacked Klein.’
      • ‘Leuthner was fiercely attacked for his theses at the time by social democratic leader Karl Kautsky.’
      • ‘The play was fiercely attacked by critics and made headline news in the tabloids.’
      • ‘Jiao had fiercely attacked the Ministry of Propaganda as an out-of-date dinosaur.’
      • ‘She is now making a television programme which attacks those who oppose fox hunting.’
      • ‘He was fiercely attacked, and even some figures who privately sympathized with his views were too cowed to defend him publicly.’
      criticize, censure, condemn, castigate, chastise, lambaste, pillory, savage, find fault with, fulminate against, abuse
      View synonyms
    4. 1.4 Begin to deal with (a problem or task) in a determined and vigorous way.
      ‘a plan of action to attack unemployment’
      • ‘He said that drugs have always been a problem and the only way you attack a problem is head on.’
      • ‘Overnight some of the mail team began attacking the problem.’
      • ‘We need to start preparing for the worst and need to attack this issue with the verve and urgency that people had in the last campaign.’
      • ‘If we truly want to effect change on an aging business practice and culture, we need to attack the problem from both within and without.’
      • ‘Is there something that you would suggest be put in place that would begin to attack that problem?’
      attend to, address, see to, deal with, grapple with, confront, direct one's attention to, focus on, concentrate on, apply oneself to
      View synonyms
    5. 1.5no object 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 showed some good attacking play’
      • ‘The Saints upped the temperature as they began to attack relentlessly.’
      • ‘Their three goals scored showed the attacking capability that they have.’
      • ‘The red team was attacking very well, but the blue goalkeeper held them out I think.’
      • ‘We didn't want to attack too much because it would be crazy to lose the ball and let them score a goal.’
      • ‘England scored in the first half, then tried to defend the advantage in the second half, but Brazil attacked well and scored twice.’
      • ‘They have enough attacking flair to score goals, with the likes of Beckham, Giggs, Cole and Sherringham.’
      • ‘Bima said that the team would attack in the early minutes and would try to score goals from counter attacks.’
      • ‘But Ireland attacked and got the goal their efforts deserved in 33 minutes with a lovely move.’
      • ‘Duff attacks down the left wing, but his ball is headed away by Sulimani.’
      • ‘Silsden then became over-confident with too many players wanting to attack.’
      • ‘Inter have done more attacking in the opening eight minutes than I've seen them do in all their matches this season.’
      • ‘However, sloppy tackling gave the visitors their first chance to attack and they duly scored a well-worked try.’
      • ‘Both goals were scored by attacking midfielder Declan Reilly.’
      • ‘The crowds get excited when their teams attack - even when they are winning.’
      • ‘The problem is that goals and attacking play are sometimes unrelated concepts.’
      • ‘Poland have started well, attacking up both flanks.’
      • ‘Instead of trying to tell the players how to attack, he gave them more freedom.’
      • ‘As the match drew to a close both teams attacked vigorously in search of the winner, but poor finishing let them down.’
      • ‘Again both players were attacking and probing for possible weak points.’
      • ‘It's being played at a terrific pace by two teams intent on attacking.’
    6. 1.6Chess Move into or be in a position to capture (an opponent's piece)
      • ‘But this resulted in the immediate loss of a piece as Adams took a pawn with his bishop attacking the black queen.’
      • ‘A Queen move which attacks a guarded pawn is not usually a threat since taking the pawn next move usually results in loss of material.’
      • ‘No matter how many times he attacks the pawn, White can defend.’
      • ‘The piece is instantly trappable - usually that means it can be attacked by a piece of lesser value and has no safe way to retreat.’
      • ‘He has a very active queen, good knight against bad bishop and White's exposed pawns to attack.’
    7. 1.7Chemistry (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

  • 1An aggressive and violent action against a person or place.

    ‘he was killed in an attack on a checkpoint’
    ‘three classrooms were gutted in the arson attack’
    • ‘I did not see how we could withstand a determined attack after nightfall.’
    • ‘Five teenagers have been charged following an attack on a police officer which left him needing 10 stitches to his head.’
    • ‘An attack on private education is itself a thinly veiled assault on those who choose to use it.’
    • ‘Police have confirmed they are treating the attack as attempted murder.’
    • ‘This cowardly decision was a blow to those already on strike and an attack on the unity of the city workers.’
    • ‘The battalion's withdrawal was met by a determined Japanese air attack on the convoy.’
    • ‘In February police arrested nine Moroccans suspected of planning an attack on the US embassy in Rome.’
    • ‘Police believe he may also be responsible for an attack on a 48-year-old woman last Friday.’
    • ‘Police are treating an attack on a community church and its vicar as racially-motivated, a spokesman said today.’
    • ‘The offender was chased and apprehended by a member of the public who witnessed the attack.’
    • ‘There was a real mood in the meeting that an attack on the time limit was the first step in an attack on abortion rights in general.’
    • ‘Last week, terrorists launched an attack on government facilities in Saudi Arabia.’
    • ‘In Tikrit, guerrillas detonated two car bombs in an attack on a police checkpoint.’
    • ‘No claims of responsibility have been made for the subway attack, the worst terrorist attack in Moscow in five years.’
    • ‘What I want to say here, no, what I have to say here, is that this country, our very way of life and everything we ever stood for, is under attack.’
    • ‘They were shot as they launched an attack on the police station using guns and a bomb in the bucket of a mechanical digger.’
    • ‘For those close to the areas under attack, the damage was obvious and the response immediate.’
    • ‘Today there will be an exercise involving a mock chemical attack on the City of London.’
    • ‘Police are investigating an attack on a woman as she left a toilet at a train station.’
    • ‘Since then, we have witnessed only one more attempted terrorist attack on a plane.’
    • ‘Journalists said that it was an attack on the freedom of press.’
    • ‘In an attack on a police station, one police officer and an attacker were killed.’
    assault, onslaught, offensive, strike, blitz, raid, sortie, sally, storming, charge, rush, drive, push, thrust, invasion, incursion, inroad
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Destructive action by a disease, chemical, or insect.
      ‘the tissue is open to attack by fungus’
      • ‘The ants move the aphids to fresh parts of the plant, and they protect them from attack by other insects.’
      • ‘Growing in dense thickets, it becomes vulnerable over time to attacks from insects and disease.’
      • ‘Potatoes, particularly varieties grown for seed, are treated with insecticide to control attack from aphids.’
      • ‘A good friend has pointed out to me that, in her country, to combat insect attacks on citrus fruits, they have used sprays containing organophosphorus.’
      • ‘Biological plant protection measures were taken to prevent insect attack on plants.’
      • ‘Second, look at the underlying cause related to the pest or disease attack.’
      • ‘Helps plants withstand attacks by disease and insects by enhancing naturally occurring microbial agents.’
      • ‘Communication of aphid attack between plants has recently been shown to involve other volatiles.’
      • ‘Its affinity for oxygen makes it resistant to corrosion and attack by most chemicals.’
    2. 1.2 A sudden short bout of an illness or stress.
      ‘an attack of nausea’
      ‘an asthma attack’
      • ‘Patients with acute cholecystitis may have a history of attacks of biliary colic or they may have been asymptomatic until the presenting episode.’
      • ‘Some people with asthma never have a severe attack, only a little wheezing or the occasional bout of coughing.’
      • ‘The type of treatment that is given depends on how often the asthma attacks occur and how bad the symptoms are.’
      • ‘When a person has asthma, an attack can be started by a number of different things.’
      • ‘Short but recurrent attacks of vertigo are often caused by benign positional vertigo.’
      • ‘All these triggers can irritate the airways in your lungs, making an asthma attack more likely.’
      • ‘They are commonly used for relieving sudden attacks of asthma and preventing exercise-induced asthma.’
      • ‘Many medications are currently available to relieve the symptoms of acute migraine attacks.’
      • ‘Most doctors will start chronic treatment of epilepsy if two or more attacks occur in a short interval.’
      • ‘The best way to prevent asthma attacks is to identify and avoid indoor and outdoor allergens and irritants.’
      • ‘There was a past history of migraine attacks and bouts of coughing.’
      • ‘Sudden attacks lasting for a few days with symptom-free intervals.’
      • ‘For the thousands of people who have trigeminal neuralgia, attacks of such pain are frequent and can often seem unbearable.’
      • ‘Poorly cleaned heating systems also contribute to asthma and allergy attacks in the fall and winter, say researchers.’
      • ‘An attack of rheumatic fever may last for six weeks or longer.’
      • ‘The illness results in recurrent attacks of chills and fever and can be deadly.’
      • ‘There may be attacks of sudden breathlessness during the night.’
      • ‘Several treatments are available to help make the attacks shorter and less severe.’
      • ‘Collins suffered from severe attacks of a rheumatic illness which caused him great pain, only relieved by the use of opium.’
      • ‘The weather is so depressing that I am convinced it is the reason behind my sudden attack of vomiting.’
      • ‘A sudden attack of viral encephalitis left him in a deep coma with a dire prognosis.’
      fit, seizure, spasm, convulsion, paroxysm, outburst, flare-up
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3 An instance of fierce public criticism or opposition.
      ‘he launched a stinging attack on the White House’
      • ‘In a fierce attack on both Labour and the Tories, he urged all parties to reach a consensus on how the NHS should be managed.’
      • ‘The Opposition Leader intensified his attack on the Prime Minister, insisting he had lied to the public.’
      • ‘In the fight against cronyism, Malaysian economist Jomo has endured public attacks, lawsuits and death threats.’
      • ‘Later he decided to rise above the criticism and attacks.’
      • ‘Members of a new action group launched an attack on the local police authority at a public meeting on Tuesday.’
      • ‘His sporadic cinematic output has been combined with fierce public attacks on the general media situation.’
      • ‘How low will it sink in its attacks on progressives and public spending?’
      • ‘It is the most pathetic attack on public servants I have ever heard in this House.’
      • ‘When so out of touch with public and media attacks, that is when a First Minister should turn to his special advisers.’
      • ‘London's ex-police chief has launched a vitriolic attack on the minister.’
      • ‘And having made her a public figure, he must have expected her to be subjected to public scrutiny and political attacks.’
      • ‘A government spending watchdog today launched a scathing attack on attempts to cut congestion.’
      • ‘He has yet again launched a personal attack on a public servant without justification.’
      • ‘The following day, the government continued its political attack on the opposition.’
      • ‘The York Civic Trust's annual report launched a fierce attack on the loss of the city's Victorian heritage to the developers.’
      • ‘The company has suffered public attacks in the US and Western Europe and announced a down-turn in profits earlier in the year.’
      • ‘The admission drew a scathing attack from the Opposition, with Mr Gilmore calling for his resignation.’
      • ‘Eventually, he had to respond to the mounting attacks and criticisms by Labor.’
      • ‘Arnold Schwarzeneggar launched a blistering attack on the fiscal credentials of the opposition party.’
      • ‘Responding to criticism that his attacks on Elton and Madonna in his new biography are unfair, he has decided to set the record straight.’
      • ‘Last week, making his second appearance at the corruption trial, he launched a withering attack on his critics.’
      • ‘No more will you have to endure the ill-formed attacks of the purchasing public.’
      criticism, censure, rebuke, admonition, admonishment, reprimand, reproval
      View synonyms
    4. 1.4 A determined attempt to tackle a problem or task.
      ‘an attack on inflation’
      • ‘I am determined to use my national responsibilities to launch a concerted attack on truancy and ill discipline in schools.’
      • ‘They generated a high-profile attack on muggers, which involved every interested government department.’
      • ‘His proposed attack on drugs has two prongs: swift arrest and punishment for foreign druglords who continue to supply drugs to this country, and measures to make the drug trade so unprofitable that those in it will give it up.’
      • ‘In this context, it is much more than a scientific venture: it is a direct attack on poverty and the disparities between rich and poor.’
    5. 1.5Music The manner of beginning to play or sing a passage.
      • ‘She discusses the three uses of the diaphragm: on the attack of the first note, on the high / low note and on the last note.’
      • ‘The shaping of phrases is largely dependent on articulation, particularly on keyboard instruments, where finely controlled attack and decay on individual notes is prescribed’
    6. 1.6 Forceful and decisive style in performing music or another art.
      ‘the sheer attack of Hendrix's playing’
      • ‘I think the energy of it, not having an intermission on stage, and just the harsh sonic attack of the music, was great.’
      • ‘There's a sharpness and attack to her performances, which ensures a sense of drive.’
    7. 1.7 An aggressive attempt to score a goal, win points, or gain or exploit an advantage in a game.
      • ‘I think our style of play means we always risk conceding goals but we try to mitigate that with good attacks.’
      • ‘But they had to endure some anxious moments when the Gaels launched a number of attacks which ended in goals for the home team.’
      • ‘Kelly's brilliance inspired his team-mates and the remainder of the game saw Waterford launch many attacks at the visitors' goal.’
      • ‘This West Indian batting line-up has struggled to score against most attacks in the recent past.’
      • ‘Dundee grew ragged under the weight of repeated attacks on their goal.’
      • ‘In Shahid's days there were more attacks and attempts on goals because of fast and true synthetic turf.’
      • ‘There was little chance of another goal but the sporadic attacks did at least please the fans.’
      • ‘Tadcaster repelled the Sheffield side's earlier attacks but three goals just before half-time eased the home side's frustrations.’
      • ‘Portugal are now gaining an upper hand in the match, launching attacks from all over the pitch.’
      • ‘Solid defending from Kate Bugg and Amy Bowler kept attacks on the goal to a minimum with Emma Rowley having to make only two saves in the match.’
      • ‘A succession of relentless goal attacks highlighted the latter stages of the second half.’
      • ‘Kildare used the elements and the extra man to good advantage in the second half as they launched wave after wave of attacks on the Southerners' goal.’
      • ‘There was no sense of urgency from either team in the first half, with the game characterised by sporadic attacks at goals.’
      • ‘In midfield Callum Bott tackled as though his life depended upon it and broke up countless home attacks.’
      • ‘Smith dominated play from the start but after numerous attacks on goal failed to score.’
      • ‘Then just like earlier in the half the Graigue side swept forward in a wave of attacks which yielded a goal and three points.’
      • ‘When he wasn't prompting attacks, he was scoring mighty points.’
    8. 1.8Chess A threat to capture an opponent's piece.
      • ‘It is Black who now has all the chances on the kingside and he can now proceed to build up a kingside attack.’
      • ‘In the Yugoslav it is generally correct for Black to attack with pieces and not pawns, because pawn attacks tend to be too slow.’
      • ‘Rubinstein combines the march of his King to a weak pawn with an attack against White's King.’
      • ‘After a few careless moves in the opening Black develops a murderous attack.’
      • ‘Herbert Lockwood, who sacrificed a piece for two pawns and an attack that his opponent could not defend, gained the final point.’
      • ‘White has two ways of giving up a piece for the attack in the main line, and they're both looking as deadly as ever.’

Phrases

  • under attack

    • Subject to aggressive, violent, or harmful action.

      ‘his paintings have come under attack for their satanic content’
      • ‘Police chasing two car thieves came under attack from a crowd of 60 youths.’
      • ‘On arrival they came under attack from youths hurling bottle and stones at their appliance.’
      • ‘Today, it is not merely justice itself, but the idea of justice that is under attack.’
      • ‘I thought the house was under attack and leaped out of bed to defend my family.’
      • ‘It is a telling sign of the times that Hersh is once again under attack for his reporting.’
      • ‘For reasons that have yet to be explained, it seems that man's best friend is under attack again.’
      • ‘She says the village came under attack from the planes and from members of the Janjaweed militia.’
      • ‘Fire fighters came under attack in Hilltown when they responded to a call to a bonfire in the village.’
      • ‘It follows an incident last week when a bus came under attack from a mob of stone-throwing crazed youths.’
      • ‘But then a domestic helper rushed in to warn him his house was under attack from gunmen.’
      • ‘Like many people, the President finds it difficult to admit a mistake, particularly when under attack on all sides.’

Origin

Early 17th century: from French attaque (noun), attaquer (verb), from Italian attacco ‘an attack’, attaccare ‘join battle’, based on an element of Germanic origin (see attach).

Pronunciation

attack

/əˈtæk//əˈtak/