From King Dictionary of Contemporary Englishattackat‧tack1 /əˈtæk/ ●●● S2 W2 noun 1 violence against somebody/somethingVIOLENCE AGAINST somebody [countable]ATTACK an act of violence that is intended to hurt a person or damage a placeattack on There have been several attacks on foreigners recently. a bomb attack a knife attack an arson attack (=an attempt to destroy a building using fire) victims of racial attacks2 in a warIN A WAR [countable, uncountable]ATTACK the act of using weapons against an enemy in a war The attack began at dawn.attack on the attack on Pearl Harborbe/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 attack3 criticismCRITICISM [countable, uncountable]CRITICIZE a strong and direct criticism of someone or somethingattack 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)4 illnessILLNESS [countable]ILLNESS/DISEASE a sudden short period of suffering from an illness, especially an illness that you have oftenattack of I had a bad attack of flu at Christmas. He died after suffering a severe asthma attack. → heart attack5 emotion [countable] a short period of time when you suddenly feel extremely frightened or worried and cannot think normally or deal with the situationpanic/anxiety attack Her heart began to pound frantically, as if she were having a panic attack.attack of a sudden attack of nerves6 attempt to stop somethingACTIONS TO STOP something [countable, uncountable]GET RID OF actions that are intended to get rid of or stop something such as a system, a set of laws etcattack on The new measures were seen by many as an attack on the Scottish way of life. 7 sport a) [countable, uncountable] an attempt by a player or group of players to score goals or win points b) [singular] British English the players in a team that are responsible for trying to score goals or win points SYN offense American English → defencein attack Heath will play alongside Smith in attack.8 damage [countable, uncountable] when something such as a disease, insect, or chemical damages something Unfortunately, the carved ceilings have suffered woodworm attack over the years.COLLOCATIONS – Meaning 1: an act of violence that is intended to hurt a person or damage a placeNOUN + attacka bomb attack (=usually intended to achieve a political aim)Animal rights activists are believed to have carried out the bomb attack.a terrorist attackThe accused men went on trial Monday for America’s worst-ever terrorist attack.a knife/gun attackHe was sentenced to nine years in prison for the knife attack.an arson attack (=intended to destroy a building by burning it)Ten classrooms were completely destroyed in the arson attack.adjectivesa violent/vicious/brutal attackPolice described it as an extremely violent attack.a horrific attack'This was a horrific attack, ' said Detective Chief Superintendent Ron Astles.a frenzied attack (=very violent and uncontrolled)The woman was stabbed to death in a frenzied attack at her home.a racial attackStaffordshire police are treating the incident as a racial attack.a sexual attackThere was no indication of a sexual attack.an unprovoked attack (=in which the victim did nothing to cause the attack)Their teenage son was knocked to the ground, kicked and punched in an unprovoked attack.a motiveless attack (=that happens for no reason)He was stabbed to death in an apparently motiveless attack.verbscarry out an attackThe man who carried out the attack has been described as white and 25 to 32 years old.an attack happens/takes place (also an attack occurs formal)The attack took place at around 10 pm Thursday.phrasesa series/spate/wave of attacks (=a number of attacks in a row)The killing follows a series of brutal attacks on tourists.the victim of an attackShe was the victim of an attack in her own home. COLLOCATIONS – Meaning 2: the act of using weapons against an enemy in a warADJECTIVES/NOUN + attacka nuclear attackThey would not risk a nuclear attack on the United States.an all-out attack (=that is done with a lot of determination)General Smith was in favour of an all-out attack on the enemy.a full-scale attack (=that uses all the available soldiers and weapons)German troops launched a full-scale attack on the city.an armed attackArmed attacks against Israeli settlements are on the increase.a surprise attackWe launched a surprise attack on their camp just before dawn.a missile/rocket/mortar attackThere were 15 dead and 20 wounded in a missile attack on the capital.an air/bomb attack (=an attack from a plane using bombs)Malta was under heavy air attack.verbslaunch an attackIn April the French army launched an attack.lead/mount an attackThe King now prepared to mount an attack on Granada.come under attackCamps in the south came under attack from pro-government forces.be under attackHe arrived when the base was under attack from mortar and small arms fire. THESAURUSattack noun [countable, uncountable] an act of using weapons against an enemy in a warThe US was threatening to launch an attack on Iran.The men had been carrying out rocket attacks on British forces.Bombs have been falling throughout the night, and the city is still under attack (=being attacked).invasion noun [countable, uncountable] an occasion when an army enters a country and tries to take control of itThe Allies began their invasion of Europe.The threat of foreign invasion is very real.raid noun [countable] a short attack on a place by soldiers or planes, intended to cause damage but not take controlan air raid NATO warplanes carried out a series of bombing raids on the city.The village has been the target of frequent raids by rebel groups.strike noun [countable] a sudden military attack, especially after a serious disagreementSenior Israeli officials warned that they were still considering a military strike.the possibility of a nuclear strikeassault noun [countable] a military attack intended to take control of a city, area, or building controlled by an enemyThe final military assault on Kwangju began at 3 am on May 27.Hitler launched an all-out assault (=using as many soldiers, weapons, planes etc as possible) on Russia.ambush noun [countable, uncountable] a sudden attack by people who have been waiting and hiding, especially an attack on a vehicle or people who are travelling somewhereFive soldiers were shot in the back and killed in the ambush.Enemy forces waiting in ambush opened fire on the vehicle.counterattack noun [countable, uncountable] a military attack made in response to an attack by an enemyGovernment forces launched a counterattack against the guerillas.If they successfully occupied the city, they would need to be capable of defending it against enemy counterattack.onslaught noun [countable] formal a large violent attack by an armyIn 1544 there was a full-scale onslaught on France, in which the English took Boulogne.The troops were preparing for another onslaught against the enemy.
Examples from the Corpusattack• The air attack occurred in August 1988 during a campaign against the Kurdish separatist movement.• The city is exposed and vulnerable to air attack.• She was left unconscious after an attack in her own home.• One of my students suddenly had an attack of asthma and I didn't know what to do.• International terrorists have mounted an attack aimed at disrupting the huge tourist industry here.• Lumbering was an attack operation, as thoroughly strategic and disciplined as a military siege.• They finally caught the gang responsible for the armed attacks on foreigners in Dakar.• an asthma attack• But most animals, seeking to avoid attack from predators, use disguise in a quite different and more cautious way.• France launched a bitter attack on EU proposals to reduce farm subsidies.• At this time the Union center, having reformed after falling back under the early attacks, was still standing fast.• Your father died early this morning of a heart attack.• O'Brien promised to continue his attacks on the film industry.• New statistics show a further increase in attacks on women.• missile attacks on civilian targets• Police say it was a particularly nasty attack.• Fong did not suffer a physical attack, but he was humiliated by the three men.• Malaria often doesn't go away completely, and a patent may suffer from repeated attacks over several years.• Eleven people were injured in a rocket attack on Sunday night.• There was no indication of a sexual attack.• Officially you are all going to be victims of a surprise attack on the rescue party by the native inhabitants.• Their home was damaged in the attack.• The caller warned that the attacks will continue until the demands are met.• The attack took place as she was walking home.• Hiding under a seat in a movie theater that has come under attack by a crazed gunman.• Once again the oil companies have come under attack from environmentalists.• a number of brutal and unprovoked attacks on gaysracial attacks• It looks at some appalling racial attacks, including a skinhead raid last June on a Gypsy camp near Naples.• These precautions are essential because of the danger of racial attacks.• After he was elected in November he revealed that he been the subject of racial attacks during his campaign.• We will continue to ensure that the full force of the law is used to deal with racial attacks.air/missile/nuclear etc attack• Consequently, they might remove the base, thereby removing the reason for a nuclear attack.• There were no trains and the roads were under constant air attack.• The Pentagon ordered up cruise missile attacks from two of the six cruise-missile equipped warships on patrol in the Persian Gulf.• But like the old joke, they prepare for nuclear attack by gathering the wagons into a circle.• Nor will such a network of battle stations immediately end the threat of nuclear attack.• On the other hand, it is becoming apparent that air attacks alone are not likely to win the war.• He also underlines further the riskiness of the Yamamoto plan, pointing to the high vulnerability of carriers to air attack.go on the attack• Banks now opened on Saturdays because the building societies had gone on the attack.• United were panicking as Newcastle went on the attack.• Mark, in a preemptive strike, went on the attack to discredit her with Charles.• Now we went on the attack.suffering ... attack• However, the following month Abdul Latif Hamid died after suffering an asthma attack.• Lock forward Bayfield had to leave the pitch while playing for Northampton after suffering an asthma attack.• He was released from trial during the summer, after suffering a heart attack.• Now I, suffering attacks of insecurity as they grow away from me, need to clutch them in the night.• In addition the Roman masonry below is suffering from sulphate attack aggravated by the recent use of cement mortar and render.• There is no doubt that the older we get the greater is the risk of suffering a heart attack.• She felt like a tightrope walker suffering an attack of vertigo, terrified she was going to topple.panic/anxiety attack• Richard was having a panic attack on Fifth Avenue, clutching a lamppost with arms that bulged like tin drums.• Thirty years ago we heard nothing about panic attacks, or anorexia or self-mutilation.• It has also been proven to combat anxiety, depression, sleep problems, and panic attacks.• Basically they become terrified of having another anxiety attack.• Their recently acquired understanding very often prevents them from achieving a full-blown panic attack.• Co-trainer Lou Duva said he thought his fighter had a seizure or anxiety attack.• Once you understand the panic attack problem, these particular fears of public places make perfect sense.• The panic attacks gave her the perfect excuse, as no blame could possibly be attributed to her.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.Origin attack2 (1600-1700) French attaquer, from Old Italian attaccare “to attach”, from stacca “sharp post”