Meaning of ATTACK in English
/ əˈtæk; NAmE / noun , verb
[ C , U ] attack (on sb) an act of using violence to try to hurt or kill sb :
a series of racist attacks
[ C , U ] attack (on sb/sth) an act of trying to kill or injure the enemy in war, using weapons such as guns and bombs :
to launch / make / mount an attack
The patrol came under attack from all sides.
—see also counter-attack
[ C , U ] attack (on sb/sth) strong criticism of sb/sth in speech or in writing :
a scathing attack on the government's policies
The school has come under attack for failing to encourage bright pupils.
ACTION TO STOP STH
[ C ] attack (on sth) an action that you take to try to stop or change sth that you feel is bad :
to launch an all-out attack on poverty / unemployment
[ C ] a sudden, short period of illness, usually severe, especially an illness that you have often :
to suffer an asthma attack
an acute attack of food poisoning
a panic attack
( figurative )
an attack of the giggles
—see also heart attack
[ C ] a sudden period of feeling an emotion such as fear :
an attack of nerves
[ U , C ] the action of sth such as an insect, or a disease, that causes damage to sth/sb :
The roof timbers were affected by rot and insect attack.
[ sing. ] ( BrE ) ( NAmE of·fense ) the players in a team whose job is to try to score goals or points :
Germany's attack has been weakened by the loss of some key players through injury.
[ C , U ] the actions that players take to try to score a goal or win the game :
a sustained attack on the Arsenal goal
to use violence to try to hurt or kill sb :
[ vn ] [ often passive ]:
A woman was attacked and robbed by a gang of youths.
The man attacked him with a knife.
[ v ]
Most dogs will not attack unless provoked.
to use weapons, such as guns and bombs against an enemy in a war, etc. :
[ vn ]
At dawn the army attacked the town.
[ v ]
The guerrillas attack at night.
[ vn ] attack sb/sth (for sth / for doing sth) to criticize sb/sth severely :
a newspaper article attacking the England football manager
She has been attacked for ignoring her own party members.
[ vn ] to have a harmful effect on sth :
a disease that attacks the brain
The vines were attacked by mildew.
DO STH WITH ENERGY
[ vn ] to deal with sth with a lot of energy and determination :
Let's attack one problem at a time.
[ v ] to go forward in a game in order to try to score goals or points
—compare defend :
Spain attacked more in the second half and deserved a goal.
early 17th cent.: from French attaque (noun), attaquer (verb), from Italian attacco an attack, attaccare join battle, based on an element of Germanic origin (see attach ).
Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary. Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне. 2005