: the act of attacking with physical force or unfriendly words : assault
- the victim of a knife attack
: a belligerent or antagonistic action
- launched an attack against his political opponents
: a fit of sickness;
: an active episode of a chronic or recurrent disease
: a period of being strongly affected by something (such as a desire or mood)
: an aggressive attempt to take or extend a lead over others in a race (such as a bicycle race)
- … he crushed his rivals in the first mountain stages by going on relatively long solo attacks.
- —Samuel Abt
: an offensive or scoring action
- won the game with an 8-hit attack
: offensive players or the positions taken up by them
: the setting to work on some undertaking
- made a new attack on the problem
: the beginning of destructive action (as by a chemical agent)
: the act or manner of beginning a musical tone or phrase
on the attack
: making an attack
—often used in the phrase go on the attack with the meaning "to begin attacking"
- The soldiers were on the attack.
- Last week he challenged Bradley to debate him and went on the attack, accusing his challenger of "disloyalty" to the party …
- —Matt Bai
: in the process of being attacked
—often used in the phrase come under attack with the meaning "to begin being attacked"
- a politician who is under attack from his opponents
- a theory that has recent come under attack