[ uh-tak ]
/ əˈtæk /

verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)

to make an attack; begin hostilities.


Origin of attack

1590–1600; earlier atta(c)que < Middle French atta(c)quer < Italian attaccare to attack, attach


synonym study for attack

1. Attack, assail, assault, molest all mean to set upon someone forcibly, with hostile or violent intent. Attack is the most general word and applies to a beginning of hostilities, especially those definitely planned: to attack from ambush. Assail implies vehement, sudden, and sometimes repeated attack: to assail with weapons or with gossip. Assault almost always implies bodily violence: to assault with intent to kill. To molest is to harass, to threaten, or to assault: He was safe, and where no one could molest him. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for attacking

British Dictionary definitions for attacking

/ (əˈtæk) /



Derived forms of attack

attackable, adjectiveattacker, nounattacking, adjective

Word Origin for attack

C16: from French attaquer, from Old Italian attaccare to attack, attach, from estaccare to attach, from stacca stake 1; compare attach
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Medicine definitions for attacking

[ ə-tăk ]


An episode or onset of a disease, often sudden in nature.

Other words from attack

at•tack v.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.