attack definition, meaning - what is attack in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online

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 uk   us   /əˈtæk/

attack verb (HURT)

B1 [I or T] to try to hurt or defeat using violence: He was attacked and seriously injured by a gang of youths. Army forces have been attacking the town since dawn. Most wild animals won't attack unless they are provoked.
Compare
More examples

attack verb (CRITICIZE)

C1 [T] to criticize someone strongly: She wrote an article attacking the judges and their conduct of the trial. The report attacks the idea of exams for seven and eight-year-olds.

attack verb (DAMAGE)

C2 [T] If something, such as a disease or a chemical, attacks something, it damages it: AIDS attacks the body's immune system. My rose bushes are being attacked by aphids.

attack verb (SPORT)

[I or T] If players in a team attack, they move forward to try to score points, goals, etc.

attack verb (DEAL WITH)

[T] to deal with something quickly and in an effective way: We have to attack these problems now and find some solutions. The children rushed in and eagerly attacked the food (= quickly started to eat it).

attack

noun uk   us   /əˈtæk/

attack noun (VIOLENT ACT)

B1 [C or U] a violent act intended to hurt or damage someone or something: a racist attack Enemy forces have made an attack on the city. These bomb blasts suggest that the terrorists are (going) on the attack (= trying to defeat or hurt other people) again. The town was once again under attack (= being attacked).
More examples

attack noun (CRITICISM)

C2 [C or U] a strong criticism of someone or something: a scathing attack on the president The government has come under attack from all sides for cutting education spending.

attack noun (ILLNESS)

[C] a sudden and short period of illness: an attack of asthma/flu/malariafigurative an attack of the giggles

attack noun (SPORT)

B1 [C or U] the part of a team in some sports that tries to score points: The team has a strong attack, but its defence is weak. The team is strong in (US on) attack but useless in defence. [U] determination in the way you play a sport, trying hard to score points: The team needs to put some more attack into its game.
(Definition of attack from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © 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

Morse code

a system used for sending messages, in which letters and numbers are represented by short and long marks, sounds, or flashes of light

Word of the Day

The language of elections

by Liz Walter,
April 22, 2015
On May 7th, citizens of the UK will be going to the polls (having an election) to decide who will form the next government. This kind of election is known as a general election. The country is divided into 650 areas, called constituencies. Each constituency elects a member of parliament (MP) to

Read More 

dumbwalking noun

April 20, 2015
walking slowly, without paying attention to the world around you because you are consulting a smartphone He told me dumbwalking probably wouldn’t be a long-term problem.

Read More