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Attack appears in the following palindromes (phrases that read the same backward as forward):

  • So attack KC or rock KC at Taos.
  • My 'gay breed’ sex attack cat taxes deer by a gym.
  • Stark cat tales a ewe now assesses saw one weasel attack rats.
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The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English.

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the noun attack:


Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the verb attack:


Comparison of usage frequency between the verb attack and its most common antonym:


The word attack is considered to be an easy one, according to the Dale-Chall word list, which includes 3000 words that all fourth-grade American students should know and understand.

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Definition of the noun attack

What does attack mean as a name of something?

Attack is one of the top 1000 most common nouns in the English language.

noun - plural: attacks

  1. (military) an offensive against an enemy (using weapons)
  2. an offensive move in a sport or game
    • example: they won the game with a 10-hit attack in the 9th inning
    • lexical domain: Acts - nouns denoting acts or actions
    • more generic words: play / turn = the activity of doing something in an agreed succession
    • more specific words: counterattack / counterplay = an attack that is intended to counter the opponent's advantage in another part of the board
  3. intense adverse criticism
  4. ideas or actions intended to deal with a problem or situation
  5. the act of attacking
    • example: attacks on women increased last year
    • lexical domain: Acts - nouns denoting acts or actions
    • synonym of attack: attempt
    • more generic terms: crime / criminal offence / criminal offense / law-breaking = an act punishable by law
    • more specific word: assault = a threatened or attempted physical attack by someone who appears to be able to cause bodily harm if not stopped
  6. a decisive manner of beginning a musical tone or phrase
  7. a sudden occurrence of an uncontrollable condition
    • example: an attack of diarrhea
    • lexical domain: States - nouns denoting stable states of affairs
    • more generic word: affliction = a cause of great suffering and distress
    • more specific terms:
  8. the onset of a corrosive or destructive process (as by a chemical agent)
    • examples: the film was sensitive to attack by acids | open to attack by the elements
    • lexical domain: Natural Processes - nouns denoting natural processes
    • more generic words: degeneration / devolution = the process of declining from a higher to a lower level of effective power or vitality or essential quality
  9. strong criticism

Alternative definition of the noun attack


  1. An attempt to cause damage or injury to, or to somehow detract from the worth or credibility of, a person, position, idea, object, or thing, by physical, verbal, emotional, or other assault.
  2. A time in which one attacks. The offence of a battle.
  3. [cricket] Collectively, the bowlers of a cricket side.
  4. [volleyball] Any contact with the ball other than a serve or block which sends the ball across the plane of the net.
  5. [lacrosse] The three attackmen on the field or all the attackmen of a team.
  6. [medicine] The sudden onset of a disease.
  7. [context: 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).

Specialised definition of the noun attack

Glossary of sports

(tactical) play combination, through which the opponent is pushed into the defense so that the competitive actions are determined by the attacker. The attack has different characteristics in the various sports and is an essential element of the tactical measures (e.g. in the racquet games badminton, table tennis, tennis, and in volleyball). In some sports the possibilities for attacks are limited by the size or by the zone divisions of the field (e.g. offensive zone in ice-hockey, attack zone in volleyball) (Herbert Haag & Gerald Haag. 2003. Dictionary. Sport, Physical Education, Sport Science. Kiel, Institut für Sport und Sportwissenschaften)

in combat sports, an action with which the opponent is attacked (Herbert Haag & Gerald Haag. 2003. Dictionary. Sport, Physical Education, Sport Science. Kiel, Institut für Sport und Sportwissenschaften)

Glossary of sports / cycling

a sudden burst of speed designed to leave a rider or group of riders behind

Glossary of sports / fencing

an movement signaled by extending the sword arm, which gives the fencer the right of way

Glossary of sports / volleyball

hitting the ball at the net with one hand into the opponent's field as an offensive action (spike or lob). The spike is performed as follows: after an approach the opposing leg to the striking arm is set forward on the ground for push-off, the arms are moved backwards, ankles, knees and hips are extended with timed coordination in order to reach an optimal height for hitting the ball. Some tactical variants (e.g. running around the setter) require a take-off from one leg. The smash itself is prepared by moving the bent arm backwards on the side and behind the head. The arch tension and wind-up movement are released and the upper arm, lower arm, and hand are successively accelerated in a whip-like action resulting in a hard hitting movement, which has the aim of beating the opponent's defense. The landing should be soft and occur on both feet if possible. When a lob (fake) is played, the forward movement of the stroke arm is stopped rapidly just before ball contact; the ball is then played with one hand (wrist or one-handed overarm hit) in an arch across the opponent's block. The players standing on the side and behind the attacking player go in attack safety positions to protect against balls deflecting off the block into their own field. (Herbert Haag & Gerald Haag. 2003. Dictionary. Sport, Physical Education, Sport Science. Kiel, Institut für Sport und Sportwissenschaften)

Glossary of sports / wrestling

the offensive moves a wrestler makes in competition

Definition of the verb attack

What does attack mean as a doing word?

Attack is one of the top 1000 most common verbs in the English language.

verb - inflections: attacked | attacking | attacks

  1. launch an attack or assault on; begin hostilities or start warfare with
    • example: Hitler attacked Poland on September 1, 1939 and started World War II
    • lexical domain: Competition - verbs of fighting, athletic activities
    • synonym of attack: assail
    • antonym of attack: defend
    • more generic words: contend / fight / struggle = be engaged in a fight
    • more specific terms:
  2. attack in speech or writing
  3. take the initiative and go on the offensive
    • examples: The Serbs attacked the village at night | The visiting team started to attack
    • lexical domain: Competition - verbs of fighting, athletic activities
    • synonym of attack: aggress
    • more generic words: act / move = perform an action, or work out or perform
    • more specific words:
      • check = place into check
      • fork = place under attack with one's own pieces, of two enemy pieces
      • harass = exhaust by attacking repeatedly
      • pin = immobilize a piece
      • tackle = seize and throw down an opponent player, who usually carries the ball
  4. attack someone physically or emotionally
  5. set to work upon; turn one's energies vigorously to a task
  6. begin to injure
    • examples: The cancer cells are attacking his liver | Rust is attacking the metal
    • lexical domain: Body Actions - verbs of grooming, dressing and bodily care
    • more generic word: affect = act physically on

Specialised definition of the verb attack

Glossary of sports

to attempt to defeat, or score against, an opponent in a competitive game or sport (2006. Dictionary of Sport and Exercise Science. A&C Black Publishers Ltd)

Glossary of sports / cycling

to make a sudden acceleration to try to ride away from another rider or group (2005. Chambers Sports Factfinder. Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd)

to attempt a sudden burst of speed designed to leave a rider or group of riders behind

Glossary of sports / golf

to play aggressively


  1. "Attack", also known as Attack!, is a 1956 American war film. It was directed by Robert Aldrich and starred Jack Palance, Eddie Albert, Lee Marvin, William Smithers, Robert Strauss, Richard Jaeckel, Buddy Ebsen and Peter van Eyck. The cinematographer was Joseph Biroc.
  2. "Attack" a.k.a. "Attacked!!" aka Attack!! is a 1978 Japanese film in the "Violent Pink" style of Nikkatsu's Roman porno series, directed by Yasuharu Hasebe and starring Asami Ogawa and Yōko Azusa.
  3. "Attack": When a tumour is discovered in Harold Myers’ brain, his only chance for survival is laser surgery. However, inside the tumour, in the brain of Harold Myers, is a world under attack. All that the inhabitants want is a chance to survive. But so does Harold.
  4. "Attack" a.k.a. "Attack! Battle of New Britain" is a film, written by Robert Presnell Sr..
    • also known as I mahi tou eirinikou, Attack: The Battle for New Britain, Attack!
    • country: United States of America
    • language: English Language
    • producer: Frank Capra
    • music by Dimitri Tiomkin
    • genres: Documentary film, War film, Propaganda film
    • subject: World War II
    • released on (70 years ago)

Phrases with Attack

Phrases starting with the word Attack:

  1. attack dog
  2. Attack Au Fer

Phrases ending with the word Attack:

  1. air attack
  2. Sex Attack
  3. DDoS attack
  4. Goal Attack
  5. Spaz Attack
  6. Time attack
  7. Wing Attack
  8. Drone Attack
  9. False Attack
  10. Groin attack
  11. heart attack
  12. panic attack
  13. Shark attack
  14. under attack
  15. asthma attack
  16. banzai attack
  17. ground attack
  18. Pincer Attack

View more phrases with the word Attack in thesaurus!

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Attack

Click on a title to look inside that book (if available):

Google previewCISSP in 21 Days (2016)

by M. L. Srinivasan

The Cipher-text only attack refers to the availability of the cipher-text (encrypted text) to the cryptanalyst. When a...

Google previewCISSP Exam Prep Manual

by Drew Walker

Attack An attack is the exploitation of a vulnerability by a threat agent. In other words, an attack is any intentional attempt to exploit a vulnerability of an organization's security infrastructure to cause damage, loss, or disclosure of assets.

Google previewCISSP (ISC)2 Certified Information Systems Security Professional Official Study Guide (2015)

by James M. Stewart, Mike Chapple, Darril Gibson

Attack An attack is the exploitation of a vulnerability by a threat agent. In other words, an attack is any intentional attempt to exploit a vulnerability of an organization's security infrastructure to cause damage, loss, or disclosure of assets.

Google previewVulnerability Analysis and Defense for the Internet (2008)

by Abhishek Singh

However the frame deletion attack is a theoretical attack. Authentication Mechanism Attacks 802.1x implementation...

The main principle behind the attack is the usage of MS-CHAPv2. MS-CHAPv2 sends password in cleartext to the ...

Google previewProceedings of the International Conference on Information Systems Design and Intelligent Applications 2012 (India 2012) held in Visakhapatnam, India, January 2012 (2011)

by Suresh Chandra Satapathy, P S Avadhani, Ajith Abraham

Replay attack is a typical breach of secured communication between peers that threatens the very design of authentication and key distribution protocols. The designed and proposed protocols are analysed for its strength and weakness and ...

Google previewAngina and Heart Attack (2012)

by Phil Jevon

A heart attack is a serious medical emergency and one in three people die before reaching hospital. The medical term for a heart attack is a myocardial infarction ( MI) or acute cor— onary syndrome (ACS). A heart attack can occur in people ...

Google previewInternet Protocols (2003)

Advances, Technologies and Applications by Subrata Goswami

attack is an explicit attempt by attackers to prevent legitimate users of a service from using that service.

Google previewEncyclopedia of Emotion (2010)

by Gretchen M. Reevy

A panic attack is a sudden attack of intense physical and psychological symptoms of anxiety that reaches a peak within minutes and gradually goes away. Panic attacks are accompanied by at least four of the following symptoms: heart ...

Google previewThe Encyclopedia of Eastern Orthodox Christianity, 2 Volume Set (2010)

by John Anthony McGuckin

Attack the topic of Pythagorean silence, or that of Orphic beans, or the latest style of: “The Teacher Said.

Google previewEncyclopedia of Cryptography and Security (2014)

by Henk C.A. van Tilborg, Sushil Jajodia

Access Lists Access Matrix Access Pattern Access Rights Access Structure ACM Acquirer Adaptive Chosen Ciphertext Attack Adaptive Chosen Plaintextand Chosen Ciphertext Attack Adaptive Chosen Plaintext Attack Administrative Policies ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of Domestic Violence and Abuse (2013)

by Laura L. Finley

Attempting to calculate the frequency of acid attacks and the demographics of acid attack survivors is a difficult task. Most statistical information pertaining to acid attack violence is related to survivors rather than perpetrators. Countries in which ...

Google previewHistorical Dictionary of U.S. Diplomacy since the Cold War (2007)

by Tom Lansford

sula, where land mines were an integral component of deterrence against an attack by Pyongyang. Both the administrations of William J. Clinton and George W. Bush affirmed a willingness to sign the treaty if the United States were granted an ...

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Attack

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Photos about Attack

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View more pictures about Ant Attack, Panic Attack, Under Attack, Asthma Attack, Massive Attack, and Monster Attack.

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Small photo of Cyber attack on a smart tabletSmall photo of POV hacker cyber attackSmall photo of Business, Technology, Internet and network concept. Young businessman working in the field of the future, he sees the inscription: cyber attackSmall photo of Stressed frustrated young woman employee feeling pain unwell dizzy, tired of difficult office job, suffering from panic attack, hormone imbalance or having headache migraine massaging temples at workSmall photo of Cyber Attack Hacker Phishing Security System ConceptSmall photo of Poisonous snake is preparing to attack. Attack pose.Small photo of Student helping to her asmathic friend giving the inhaler during an asthma attack More...

Video language resources about Attack

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View more videos about The Attack, Acid Attack, Goal Attack, Spaz Attack, Wing Attack, False Attack, Groin attack, heart attack, Panic Attack, Shark attack, Sneak Attack, Pincer Attack, Anxiety Attack, Counter Attack, Birthday attack, Compound Attack, Dictionary attack, Denial-of-Service Attack, and Transient Ischemic Attack.

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Sign language

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Quotes about Attack

If we had a terrorist attack, the way the people respond is going to determine whether that attack is just a tragedy or whether that attack becomes an all-out disaster. (Patrick J. Kennedy)
more quotes about attack...

Scrabble value of A1T1T1A1C3K5

The value of this 6-letter word is 12 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

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