verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
SYNONYMS FOR attack
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Origin of attack
synonym study for attack
OTHER WORDS FROM attack
Words nearby attack
What is a basic definition of attack?
Attack means to attempt to inflict harm with physical violence, to attempt to inflict harm with words, or to initiate a military offensive against another. Attack has many other senses as a verb and a noun.
Attack means to engage in physical violence against something with the intent to cause physical harm, damage, or death. Attacking doesn’t have to result in harm, however. For example, a person may be attacked by bees but manage to escape before actually getting stung. Someone or something that attacks is an attacker.
- Real-life examples: A lion will attack with its claws and teeth. In the past, soldiers would attack each other with swords, axes, and other weapons. A scared person may attack a lamp thinking it is a burglar.
- Used in a sentence: Ashley relentlessly attacked the piñata with a broom handle.
Attack can also mean to try to harm someone verbally. In this sense, attack means to assault someone with criticism, insults, or harsh comments. The attempted harm would be to a person’s feelings, opinions, or arguments.
- Real-life examples: Politicians are often attacked by political opponents, critics, or even the media. Unfortunately, many people are often attacked by trolls and harassers on social media. Bad or unpopular ideas are often attacked for being impossible or foolish.
- Used in a sentence: The unpopular director was attacked on social media by fans of the movie franchise.
Attack is also used in both senses as a noun.
- Used in a sentence: I barely survived the alligator’s attack.
The company president was outraged by the reporter’s attack on his integrity.
Attack can also mean to initiate acts of war or begin a military offensive. This sense can also be used as a noun.
- Real-life examples: Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. In 1863, General Robert E. Lee attacked the Union army at Gettysburg during the American Civil War. At the Battle of Thermopylae, almost 7,000 Greek soldiers attempted to resist the Persians’ attack.
- Used in a sentence: The United Nations was outraged by the country’s unprovoked attack of its neighbor.
Where does attack come from?
The first records of the term attack come from around the 1590s. It comes from the Italian verb attaccare, meaning “to attack” or “to attach.”
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What are some other forms related to attack?
- attacker (noun)
- attacking (adjective)
- nonattacking (adjective)
- attackable (adjective)
- postattack (adjective)
- proattack (adjective)
- reattack (verb)
- unattackable (adjective)
- unattacked (adjective)
What are some synonyms for attack?
What are some words that share a root or word element with attack?
What are some words that often get used in discussing attack?
How is attack used in real life?
Attack is a very common word that most often means to physically or verbally assault someone.
You guys, I got attacked by a dog yesterday. 😒🐶
— liz bizkit (@mylifeasliz_liz) June 30, 2012
Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad has attacked the British government during a rare television interview
— Sky News Breaking (@SkyNewsBreak) March 2, 2013
According to jihadi sources, protesters have attacked the British and German embassies in Khartoum, Sudan, hoisting an Al-Qaida banner.
— Evan Kohlmann (@IntelTweet) September 14, 2012
Try using attack!
Is attack used correctly in the following sentence?
I attacked the fence with a sledgehammer until it was a pile of broken wood.
Example sentences from the Web for attack
We are learning so much this week — not only about a shameful attack on our very government, but the shamelessness of the people who made it inevitable.I was skeptical of Democrats pursuing a second impeachment. I was wrong.|Karen Tumulty|February 11, 2021|Washington Post
It seemed every time the Wizards mounted an attack, the Raptors responded with the same type of play — a far-too-easy three that bumped the score back into comfortable territory and sapped Washington’s energy at the same time.The Wizards’ defense again lets them down in loss at home to Raptors|Ava Wallace|February 11, 2021|Washington Post
Under pressure, Hogan launches effort to pay five exonerated prisoners Maryland exoneree suffers heart attack before testifying on compensation billMaryland moves toward clear plan for paying people who were wrongly convicted|Ovetta Wiggins|February 10, 2021|Washington Post
As more and more processes and facilities gain remote and automated capabilities, this kind of attack becomes more of a concern.Hackers accessed a Florida water treatment plant’s system and tried to make a dangerous change|Stan Horaczek|February 9, 2021|Popular Science
Roy thinks it’s an attack on the right to note that a Republican member of Congress was one of hundreds of thousands of people with underlying conditions to die after contracting the virus.What you’re saying when you say that covering the coronavirus is partisan|Philip Bump|February 9, 2021|Washington Post
“The institution of marraige [sic] is under attack in our society and it needs to be strengthened,” Bush wrote.
As soon as this attack [happened], Paris citizens came together to show were are not afraid, we are Charlie Hebdo.
It is grandstanding for a right rarely protected unless under immediate attack.
The comedian responded to the deadly attack on a French satirical magazine by renewing his recent criticisms of the Islamic faith.Bill Maher: Hundreds of Millions of Muslims Support Attack on ‘Charlie Hebdo’|Lloyd Grove|January 8, 2015|DAILY BEAST
It was also an attack on our freedom of expression and way of life.
In their shelter, Brion and Ulv crouched low and wondered why the attack didn't come.Sense of Obligation|Henry Maxwell Dempsey (AKA Harry Harrison)
On to Gaba Tepe just in time to see the opening, the climax and the end of the dreaded Turkish counter attack.
Then the enemy's howitzers and field guns had it all their own way, forcing attack to yield a lot of ground.
But the strength of his arm, and the bravery of his heart could not have defended him long against their determined attack.The Pastor's Fire-side Vol. 3 of 4|Jane Porter
Uric acid is decreased before an attack of gout and increased afterward, but its etiologic relation is still uncertain.A Manual of Clinical Diagnosis|James Campbell Todd