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attack - definition and synonyms


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verb attack pronunciation in British English /əˈtæk/
Word Forms
present tense
present participleattacking
past tenseattacked
past participleattacked
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  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] to use violence to harm a person, animal, or place

    It was shortly before midnight when the terrorists attacked.

    attack someone with something:

    Two prison officers were brutally attacked with a knife.

  2. 2
    [transitive] to strongly criticize someone or something for their ideas or actions
    attack someone/something for (doing) something:

    Parliament has been attacked for failing to take action.

    attack something as something:

    The deputy Prime Minister last night attacked the decision as foolish.

  3. 3
    [intransitive/transitive] to cause damage or disease in something

    The virus attacks the body’s red blood cells.

    The wood had been attacked by a fungus.

  4. 4
    [transitive] to begin working on something or doing something with enthusiasm and determination

    We need to attack the problem now before it gets worse.

    She was just about to attack a plate of spaghetti when the phone rang.

  5. 5
    [intransitive/transitive] to try to score points against an opponent in a game or sport

    They attacked with determination and defended well.


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