Definition of “attack” - English Dictionary

“attack” in British English

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attackverb

uk /əˈtæk/ 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.
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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.

attacknoun

uk /əˈtæk/ 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).

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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/malaria
figurative an attack of the giggles

(Definition of “attack” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“attack” in American English

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attackverb

us /əˈtæk/

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 ] us /əˈtæk·ər/

attacknoun [ C/U ]

us /əˈtæk/

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.

Idiom(s)

(Definition of “attack” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

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