attack Definition

  • 1an aggressive and violent action against a person or place
  • 2a sudden short period of illness or a medical condition that causes pain or difficulty breathing
  • 3to criticize someone strongly and unfairly

Using attack: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "attack" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    The army launched a surprise attack on the enemy.

  • Example

    She suffered a heart attack and was rushed to the hospital.

  • Example

    The politician was attacked by the media for his controversial remarks.

attack Synonyms and Antonyms

Synonyms for attack

Antonyms for attack

Idioms Using attack

  • being aggressive and proactive is the best way to protect oneself


    He decided to take the initiative and launch a preemptive strike, believing that attack is the best form of defense.

  • being subjected to criticism or opposition


    The company's reputation is under attack due to allegations of unethical practices.

  • to become aggressive and confrontational


    The coach told his team to go on the attack and put pressure on the opposing team's defense.

Phrases with attack

  • a sudden feeling of acute and disabling anxiety


    She had a panic attack during the flight and had to be calmed down by the flight attendants.

  • ad hominem attack

    an argument or criticism directed against a person rather than the position they are maintaining


    The debate turned ugly when one of the candidates resorted to ad hominem attacks against his opponent.

  • cyber attack

    an attempt to damage, disrupt, or gain unauthorized access to a computer system or network


    The company's website was shut down for several hours due to a cyber attack.

Origins of attack

from Old French 'atac', meaning 'an attack, an assault'


Summary: attack in Brief

An 'attack' [əˈtæk] refers to an aggressive and violent action against a person or place, a sudden short period of illness or a medical condition that causes pain or difficulty breathing, or to criticize someone strongly and unfairly. It can also be used as a verb. Phrases like 'panic attack' and 'cyber attack' denote specific types of attacks, while idioms like 'attack is the best form of defense' and 'under attack' use 'attack' to convey the idea of being proactive or facing opposition.

How do native speakers use this expression?