English edit

Etymology edit

Borrowed from French attaque, derived from the verb attaquer, from Italian attaccare (to join, attach) (used in attaccare battaglia (to join battle)), from Frankish *stakka (stick). Doublet of attach. Displaced native Old English on rǣsan (to attack) and onrǣs (an attack).

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

attack (plural attacks)

  1. An attempt to cause damage, injury to, or death of opponent or enemy.
    • 1983, Richard Ellis, The Book of Sharks, Knopf, →ISBN, page 161:
      From 1906 to 1960, there were forty-six recorded shark attacks, half of which were fatal.
    • 2013 July 19, Mark Tran, “Denied an education by war”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 6, page 1:
      One particularly damaging, but often ignored, effect of conflict on education is the proliferation of attacks on schools [] as children, teachers or school buildings become the targets of attacks. Parents fear sending their children to school. Girls are particularly vulnerable to sexual violence.
  2. An attempt to detract from the worth or credibility of, a person, position, idea, object, or thing, by physical, verbal, emotional, or other assault.
    • 1913, Robert Barr, chapter 4, in Lord Stranleigh Abroad[1]:
      “I came down like a wolf on the fold, didn’t I ?  Why didn’t I telephone ?  Strategy, my dear boy, strategy. This is a surprise attack, and I’d no wish that the garrison, forewarned, should escape. …”
    They claimed the censorship of the article was an attack on free speech.
  3. A time in which one attacks; the offence of a battle.
    The army timed their attack to coincide with the local celebrations.
  4. (informal, by extension) The beginning of active operations on anything.
    Having washed the plates from dinner, I made an attack on the laundry.
  5. (computing) An attempt to exploit a vulnerability in a computer system.
    birthday attack; denial-of-service attack
  6. (cricket) Collectively, the bowlers of a cricket side.
  7. (volleyball) Any contact with the ball other than a serve or block which sends the ball across the plane of the net.
    Synonyms: hit, spike
  8. (lacrosse) The three attackmen on the field or all the attackmen of a team.
  9. (medicine) The sudden onset of a disease or condition.
    I've had an attack of the flu.
  10. An active episode of a chronic or recurrent disease.
  11. (music) The onset of a musical note, particularly with respect to the strength (and duration) of that onset.
    Antonyms: decay, release
    • 2004, Gary Giddins, Weather Bird: Jazz at the Dawn of Its Second Century, page 322:
      Eric Reed was a curious choice as pianist, since his busy Petersonian attack is the antithesis of Lewis's, but he acquitted himself with panache, []
  12. (audio) The amount of time it takes for the volume of an audio signal to go from zero to maximum level (e.g. an audio waveform representing a snare drum hit would feature a very fast attack, whereas that of a wave washing to shore would feature a slow attack).
  13. (gaming) One of several specific maneuvers, skills, or special abilities that a character can use to inflict damage against opponents.
    • 2002 March, Aaron Butler, “Mimesis Online (PC)”, in GameSpy.com[2], archived from the original on 2002-12-16:
      Combat in Mimesis Online is nice and simple. You click on your target [] and then keep right-clicking your chosen attack from the drop down menu. Every time you right click on the attack, your character will swing, shoot, etc.
    • 2022 January 28, Chris Tapsell, “Pokémon Legends Arceus Kleavor boss fight: How to beat Kleavor”, in Eurogamer.ner[3]:
      Kleavor has several attacks that it's worth roughly memorising: a charge attack, where it runs at you quickly; a jump attack, that causes a pillar of rock to spike out from under the ground; and a spin attack that does damage in a circle around it.

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Translations edit

Verb edit

attack (third-person singular simple present attacks, present participle attacking, simple past and past participle attacked or (obsolete) attackt or (obsolete, dialectal) attackted)

  1. (transitive) To apply violent force to someone or something.
    This species of snake will only attack humans if it feels threatened.
  2. (transitive) To aggressively challenge a person, idea, etc., with words (particularly in newspaper headlines, because it typesets into less space than "criticize" or similar).
    She published an article attacking the recent pay cuts.
    • 2012 June 3, Nathan Rabin, “TV: Review: THE SIMPSONS (CLASSIC): “Mr. Plow” (season 4, episode 9; originally aired 11/19/1992)”, in The A.V. Club[4], Fusion Media Group:
      In its God-like prime, The Simpsons attacked well-worn satirical fodder from unexpected angles, finding fresh laughs in the hoariest of subjects.
  3. (transitive) To begin to affect; to act upon injuriously or destructively; to begin to decompose or waste.
  4. (transitive) To deal with something in a direct way; to set to work upon.
    We’ll have dinner before we attack the biology homework.
    I attacked the meal with a hearty appetite.
    • 1922, Joseph Hergesheimer, Mountain Blood[5]:
      He filled a basin with water, and, with an old brush and piece of sandsoap, attacked the stove.
  5. (transitive, cricket) To aim balls at the batsman’s wicket.
  6. (intransitive, cricket) To set a field, or bowl in a manner designed to get wickets.
  7. (intransitive, cricket) To bat aggressively, so as to score runs quickly.
  8. (soccer) To move forward in an active attempt to score a point, as opposed to trying not to concede.
    • 2011 October 15, Michael Da Silva, “Wigan 1 - 3 Bolton”, in BBC Sport[6]:
      Six successive defeats had left them rooted to the bottom of the Premier League table but, clearly under instructions to attack from the outset, Bolton started far the brighter.
  9. (cycling) To accelerate quickly in an attempt to get ahead of the other riders.
  10. (chemistry) (Of a chemical species) To approach a chemical species or bond in order to form a bond with it.

Conjugation edit

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Translations edit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Adjective edit

attack (not comparable)

  1. Designed or kept for the purpose of confrontation.
    attack dog, attack ad

Further reading edit

Swedish edit

Etymology edit

From French attaque.

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

attack c

  1. attack; an attempt to cause damage
  2. attack; offense of a battle

Declension edit

Declension of attack 
Singular Plural
Indefinite Definite Indefinite Definite
Nominative attack attacken attacker attackerna
Genitive attacks attackens attackers attackernas

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