1 noun
at‧tack1 S2 W1

violence against somebody/something

[countable] an act of violence that is intended to hurt a person or damage a place
attack on
There have been several attacks on foreigners recently.
an arson attack (=an attempt to destroy a building using fire)
victims of racial attacks

in a war

[uncountable and countable] the act of using weapons against an enemy in a war:
The attack began at dawn.
attack on
the attack on Pearl Harbor
be/come under attack
Once again we came under attack from enemy fighter planes.
Rebel forces launched (=started) an attack late Sunday night.
air/missile/nuclear etc attack
the threat of nuclear attack


[uncountable and countable] a strong and direct criticism of someone or something
attack on
The magazine recently published a vicious personal attack on the novelist.
be/come under attack (=be strongly criticized)
The company has come under fierce attack for its decision to close the factory.
go on the attack (=start to criticize someone severely)


[countable] a sudden short period of suffering from an illness, especially an illness that you have often
attack of
I had a bad attack of flu at Christmas.
He died after suffering a severe asthma attack.
heart attack


[countable] a short period of time when you suddenly feel extremely frightened or worried and cannot think normally or deal with the situation
panic/anxiety attack
Her heart began to pound frantically, as if she were having a panic attack.
attack of
a sudden attack of nerves

attempt to stop something

[uncountable and countable] actions that are intended to get rid of or stop something such as a system, a set of laws etc
attack on
The new measures were seen by many as an attack on the Scottish way of life.


a) [uncountable and countable] an attempt by a player or group of players to score goals or win points
b) British English [singular] the players in a team that are responsible for trying to score goals or win points [= offense AmE; ↪ defence]
in attack
Heath will play alongside Smith in attack.


[uncountable and countable] when something such as a disease, insect, or chemical damages something:
Unfortunately, the carved ceilings have suffered woodworm attack over the years.

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