attackattack2 ●●● S3 W2 verb 1 use violenceATTACK SOMEONE [intransitive, transitive]ATTACK to deliberately use violence to hurt a person or damage a place She was attacked while walking home late at night. His shop was attacked by a gang of youths. Snakes will only attack if you disturb them.attack somebody/something with something He needed 200 stitches after being attacked with a broken bottle.2 in a warIN A WAR [intransitive, transitive]ATTACK to start using guns, bombs etc against an enemy in a war Army tanks attacked a village near the capital on Sunday.3 criticize [transitive]CRITICIZE to criticize someone or something very strongly Last year Dr Travis publicly attacked the idea that abortion should be available on demand.attack somebody for (doing) something Newspapers attacked the government for failing to cut taxes.strongly/bitterly/savagely etc attack somebody/something► see thesaurus at criticize4 damage [transitive]INJURE if something such as a disease, insect, or chemical attacks something, it damages it a cruel disease that attacks the brain and nervous system5 begin doing [transitive]DETERMINED to begin to do something in a determined and eager way She immediately set about attacking the problem. Martin attacked his meal (=started eating) with vigour.6 sport [intransitive, transitive]DS to move forward and try to score goals or win points → defend Brazil began to attack more in the second half of the match.THESAURUSto attack a personattack to use violence against someone and try to hurt themShe was attacked by a man with a baseball bat.Police dogs are trained to attack.ambush /ˈæmbʊʃ/ if a group of people ambush someone, they hide and wait for them and then attack themThe judge was ambushed by gunmen as he drove to work at the courthouse.mug to attack someone and take money from them in a public place such as a streetHe was mugged on his way home from school.stab to attack someone with a knifeThe victim had been stabbed in the neck.assault to attack and hurt someone – used especially when talking about this as a criminal offenceHe assaulted a flight attendant who refused to serve him more drinks.be set upon by somebody/something written to be attacked by a group of peopleHe died outside his home after being set upon by a gang of youths.turn on to suddenly change your behaviour and attack the person you are with, when they do not expect thisThe dog suddenly turned on him, sinking its teeth into his arm.to attack a placeattack to use weapons to try to damage or take control of a placeThe village was attacked by enemy warplanes.We will attack at dawn.invade to enter a country and try to get control of it using forceThe Romans invaded Britain 2,000 years ago.storm to suddenly attack a city or building that is well defended by getting inside it and taking controlElite troops stormed the building and rescued the hostages.besiege /bɪˈsiːdʒ/ to surround a city or building with soldiers in order to stop the people inside from getting out or from receiving suppliesIn April 655, Osman’s palace was besieged by rebels.→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpusattack• General Powell consulted with the President before giving the order to attack.• Many women feel vulnerable to attack.• Guerrillas attacked an army patrol.• Whoever is afraid of cholera will be attacked, and no treatment can save him.• Nine days ago, a 26 year old woman was also attacked as she walked along New Road.• The special unit attacked at dawn, inflicting heavy losses.• The bill has been attacked because it will put loggers out of work.• The village had been attacked by enemy warplanes.• A woman was attacked by three youths while she was out jogging in Central Park.• What's happened to it, have you been attacked by tigers?• Her husband attacked her with a knife.• He was badly injured when one of his own bulls attacked him.• Brown Bears have been know to attack human beings.• Police dogs are trained to attack in certain circumstances.• Union leaders attacked management for eliminating employee health benefits.• The Canadian team began to attack more in the second half of the game.• Several actors have attacked proposals to cut the theatre's budget.• The virus attacks the body's immune system.• On 25 April, British and Australian troops attacked the enemy at Gallipoli.• Yet when Ruksana Khan was attacked, the Home Secretary visited her in hospital and everything.• But potential obstacles can not be allowed to attack the legitimacy or undermine the potential feasibility of a new state.• Silence reigned for some time as they attacked the meal.• There are several ways to attack the problem of rising rents.• A hostile nation has attacked with the silent and invisible weapons of cyberspace.attack somebody for (doing) something• One of the papers had attacked the commercial for being too emotive.• After he leaves, Harold Transome attacks Jermyn for employing him and leaves Jermyn, each of them angry at the other.• Others, including Stead, attacked the bill for increasing the arbitrary power of the police on the streets.• We can attack an orange for not being an apple.• We choose our frame of reference and attack something for not fitting it.• Temper defeated pity and he attacked her rabidly for, of all things, going to her Anglican church.• The attack usually lasts for several minutes but can go on much longer.• The attack went on for up to five minutes before the two attackers made off on foot.