attack [ə tak′]
[Fr attaquer < It attaccare < * estaccare < Goth * stakka, stake: see STICK]
1. to use force against in order to harm; start a fight with; strike out at with physical or military force; assault
2. to speak or write against, esp. with vigor; criticize, denounce, censure, etc.
3. to begin working on energetically; undertake (a problem, task, etc.) vigorously
4. to begin acting upon harmfully or destructively [the disease attacked him suddenly]
to make an assault
1. the act of attacking
2. any hostile offensive action, esp. with armed forces; onslaught
3. the onset of a disease, or the recurrence of a chronic disease
4. a beginning of any task, undertaking, etc.
5. act or manner of such beginning
6. Music promptness and precision in beginning a passage or phrase
SYN.- ATTACK implies vigorous, aggressive action, whether in actual combat or in an undertaking [to attack a city, a problem, etc. ]; ASSAIL means to attack by repeated blows, thrusts, etc. [assailed by reproaches ]; ASSAULT implies a sudden, violent attack or onslaught and suggests direct contact and the use of force; BESET implies an attack or onset from all sides [beset with fears ]; STORM suggests a rushing, powerful assault that is stormlike in its action and effect; BOMBARD means to attack with artillery or bombs, and in figurative use suggests persistent, repetitious action [to bombard a speaker with questions ] -ANT. DEFEND, RESIST

English World dictionary. . 2014.

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