1. [syn: assaultive, attacking(a)]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Attack \At*tack"\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Attacked; p. pr. & vb.
n. Attacking.] [F. attaquer, orig. another form of attacher
to attack: cf. It. attacare to fasten, attack. See Attach,
Tack a small nail.]
1. To fall upon with force; to assail, as with force and
arms; to assault. "Attack their lines." --Dryden.
2. To assail with unfriendly speech or writing; to begin a
controversy with; to attempt to overthrow or bring into
disrepute, by criticism or satire; to censure; as, to
attack a man, or his opinions, in a pamphlet.
3. To set to work upon, as upon a task or problem, or some
object of labor or investigation.
4. To begin to affect; to begin to act upon, injuriously or
destructively; to begin to decompose or waste.
On the fourth of March he was attacked by fever.
Hydrofluoric acid . . . attacks the glass. --B.
Syn: To Attack, Assail, Assault, Invade.
Usage: These words all denote a violent onset; attack being
the generic term, and the others specific forms of
attack. To attack is to commence the onset; to assail
is to make a sudden and violent attack, or to make
repeated attacks; to assault (literally, to leap upon)
is to attack physically by a had-to-hand approach or
by unlawful and insulting violence; to invade is to
enter by force on what belongs to another. Thus, a
person may attack by offering violence of any kind; he
may assail by means of missile weapons; he may assault
by direct personal violence; a king may invade by
marching an army into a country. Figuratively, we may
say, men attack with argument or satire; they assail
with abuse or reproaches; they may be assaulted by
severe temptations; the rights of the people may be
invaded by the encroachments of the crown.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
adj 1: disposed to attack [syn: assaultive, attacking(a)]