1: (military) an offensive against an enemy (using weapons); "the attack began at dawn" [syn: onslaught, onset, onrush]
2: a sudden occurrence of an uncontrollable condition; "an attack of diarrhea"
3: intense adverse criticism; "Clinton directed his fire at the Republican Party"; "the government has come under attack"; "don't give me any flak" [syn: fire, flak, flack, blast]
4: the act of attacking; "attacks on women increased last year"; "they made an attempt on his life" [syn: attempt]
5: an offensive move in a sport or game; "they won the game with a 10-hit attack in the 9th inning"
6: the onset of a corrosive or destructive process (as by a chemical agent); "the film was sensitive to attack by acids"; "open to attack by the elements"
7: ideas or actions intended to deal with a problem or situation; "his approach to every problem is to draw up a list of pros and cons"; "an attack on inflation"; "his plan of attack was misguided" [syn: approach, plan of attack]
8: a decisive manner of beginning a musical tone or phrase [syn: tone-beginning]
9: strong criticism; "he published an unexpected attack on my work"
1: launch an attack or assault on; begin hostilities or start warfare with; "Hitler attacked Poland on September 1, 1939 and started World War II"; "Serbian forces assailed Bosnian towns all week" [syn: assail] [ant: defend]
2: attack in speech or writing; "The editors of the left-leaning paper attacked the new House Speaker" [syn: round, assail, lash out, snipe, assault]
3: take the initiative and go on the offensive; "The Serbs attacked the village at night"; "The visiting team started to attack" [syn: aggress]
4: attack someone physically or emotionally; "The mugger assaulted the woman"; "Nightmares assailed him regularly" [syn: assail, assault, set on]
5: set to work upon; turn one's energies vigorously to a task; "I attacked the problem as soon as I got out of bed"
6: begin to injure; "The cancer cells are attacking his liver"; "Rust is attacking the metal"
Adjacent words: attach | attach to | attachable | attache | attache case | attached | attachment | attack | attack aircraft | attack aircraft carrier | attack dog | attack submarine | attacker | attacking | attain | attainability