Meaning of ATTACK in English


I. verb


to act in violent opposition

cavalry attacked the Indian camp

Synonyms: aggress, assail, assault, beset, fall (on or upon), storm, strike

Related Word: invade, irrupt; charge, raid, rush; besiege, blockade, encompass, invest; beleaguer, beset, harass, harry, press; turn (on)

Idioms: gang up on, light into, sail into, set upon, take the offensive

Contrasted words: defend, guard, protect, shield; combat, oppose, resist, withstand


to begin to work vigorously (as at a task)

attack a problem

Synonyms: bang away (at), tackle

Related Word: buckle (to or down or down to), fall to, pitch in, wade (in or into)

Idioms: address ( or apply or devote) oneself to, give oneself up to

Contrasted words: dawdle, lag, poke, putter

II. noun


an act of attacking especially in the form of an attempt to injure, destroy, or defame

insecticides that are essential for successful attack on insect pests

Synonyms: aggression, assailment, assault, offense, offensive, onfall, onset, onslaught

Related Word: charge, descent, drive, foray, push, raid, sally, sortie; blitz, incursion, inroad, surprise; action, battle

Contrasted words: championing, justification, protection, support, vindication; opposition, resistance; defending, guarding, protecting, sheltering

Antonyms: defense


action or an attitude in a struggle that calls for or is opposed by defense

his policy had always been one of attack

Synonyms: aggression, aggressiveness, belligerence, combativeness, fight, pugnacity

Related Word: bellicosity, chauvinism, jingoism, warmongering; activation, militarization, mobilization, muster

Contrasted words: submissiveness, yielding


an episode of bodily or mental disorder

a sudden attack of dizziness

Synonyms: access, fit, seizure, spell, throe, turn; compare siege

Related Word: outbreak, paroxysm, spasm; affection, ailment, complaint, disease, disorder

Merriam Webster. Collegiate thesaurus English vocabulary.      Английский энциклопедический словарь тезаурус.