- to set upon in a forceful, violent, hostile, or aggressive way, with or without a weapon; begin fighting with: He attacked him with his bare hands.
- to begin hostilities against; start an offensive against: to attack the enemy.
- to blame or abuse violently or bitterly.
- to direct unfavorable criticism against; criticize severely; argue with strongly: He attacked his opponent's statement.
- to try to destroy, especially with verbal abuse: to attack the mayor's reputation.
- to set about (a task) or go to work on (a thing) vigorously: to attack housecleaning; to attack the hamburger hungrily.
- (of disease, destructive agencies, etc.) to begin to affect.
- to make an attack; begin hostilities.
- the act of attacking; onslaught; assault.
- a military offensive against an enemy or enemy position.
- Pathology. seizure by disease or illness: an attack of indigestion.
- the beginning or initiating of any action; onset.
- an aggressive move in a performance or contest.
- the approach or manner of approach in beginning a musical phrase.
Origin of attack
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for attacked
Several Muslim sites in France, including mosques have been attacked or vandalized since the Charlie Hebdo massacre.Europe’s Islam Haters Say We Told You So
Barbie Latza Nadeau
January 8, 2015
The same night the “dead cops” chant was recorded, two police officers were attacked on the Brooklyn Bridge.The Monsters Who Screamed for Dead Cops
December 23, 2014
“Ordinarily, you see punch-counterpunch-punch,” as the attacked party tries to fend off the intruder, the former official said.Obama Could Hit China to Punish North Korea
Shane Harris, Tim Mak
December 20, 2014
Imagine if hackers from Saudi Arabia said that any TV station in America broadcasting feminists and gays would be attacked?The Sony Hack and America’s Craven Capitulation To Terror
December 19, 2014
The capital of Chechnya, Grozny, was attacked Thursday by insurgents who may have sworn allegiance to ISIS.Recession? Devaluation? Inflation? Putin Tells Russia Stay the Course.
December 4, 2014
"He attacked me like the low ruffian that he is," pleaded Halbert, in extenuation.Brave and Bold
Mr. Gladstone attacked the bill with a power and vehemence which astonished the House.The Grand Old Man
Richard B. Cook
We were in a bad position, and subject to be attacked in it.The Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, Oregon and California
Brevet Col. J.C. Fremont
The tribesmen poured into the bazaar and attacked the serai on all sides.The Story of the Malakand Field Force
Sir Winston S. Churchill
Macarius was attacked when in a cemetery, and passed a whole night in defending himself.The Dream
- to launch a physical assault (against) with or without weapons; begin hostilities (with)
- (intr) to take the initiative in a game, sport, etcafter a few minutes, the team began to attack
- (tr) to direct hostile words or writings at; criticize or abuse vehemently
- (tr) to turn one's mind or energies vigorously to (a job, problem, etc)
- (tr) to begin to injure or affect adversely; corrode, corrupt, or infectrust attacked the metal
- (tr) to attempt to rape
- the act or an instance of attacking
- strong criticism or abusean unjustified attack on someone's reputation
- an offensive move in a game, sport, etc
- commencement of a task, etc
- any sudden and usually severe manifestation of a disease or disordera heart attack; an attack of indigestion
- the attack ball games the players in a team whose main role is to attack the opponents' goal or territory
- music decisiveness in beginning a passage, movement, or piece
- music the speed with which a note reaches its maximum volume
- an attempted rape
Word Origin and History for attacked
c.1600, from French attaquer (16c.), from Florentine Italian attaccare (battaglia) "join (battle)," thus the word is a doublet of attach, which was used 15c.-17c. also in the sense now reserved to attack. Related: Attacked; attacking.
1660s, from attack (v.). Cf. Middle English attach "a seizure or attack" (of fever), late 14c.
- An episode or onset of a disease, often sudden in nature.