Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “attack”

See all translations

attack

verb  /əˈtæk/ us  

attack verb (HURT)

[I/T] to try to hurt or defeat someone or something using violence: [T] Two campers were attacked by a bear last night. [I] Most wild animals won't attack unless they are provoked. [I/T] If a disease or a chemical attacks something, it damages it: [T] The stress hormone cortisol attacks the immune system.

attack verb (CRITICIZE)

[T] to criticize someone or something strongly: Critics have attacked her ideas as antidemocratic. In TV ads, he attacked his opponent’s record.
attacker
noun [C]  /əˈtæk·ər/ us  

attack

noun [C/U]  /əˈtæk/ us  

attack noun [C/U] (HURT)

An attack is also a sudden, short period of illness, or a sudden feeling that you cannot control: [C] an asthma attack [C] How do you let your kids go without having anxiety attacks?

attack noun [C/U] (CRITICISM)

An attack is also strong criticism of someone or something: [U] The more he speaks out, the more he comes under attack.
(Definition of attack from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of attack?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “attack” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

pup

a baby of particular animals, or a puppy

Word of the Day

I won’t tolerate it! Replacing formal words with phrasal verbs.

by Liz Walter,
April 01, 2015
When you are using a language, it is important to understand if a word is formal or informal, so that you can use it in an appropriate way. You might hear people saying dosh for money, or spud for potato, but they wouldn’t write those words in a formal essay. Similarly, a

Read More 

stackin’ p

March 30, 2015
idiom slang earning a lot of money ‘That’s a very generous present.”Yeah, well, she’s stackin’ p, innit?’

Read More