attacked


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at·tack

 (ə-tăk′)
v. at·tacked, at·tack·ing, at·tacks
v.tr.
1. To set upon with violent force.
2. To criticize strongly or in a hostile manner.
3. To start work on with purpose and vigor: attack a problem.
4. To act on in a detrimental way; cause harm to: a disease that attacks the central nervous system; lawn furniture attacked by corrosion.
5. Sports
a. To play (the ball) aggressively, especially by moving toward it rather than by waiting for it to arrive.
b. To move toward (the goal) on an offensive play, as in lacrosse.
c. In volleyball, to hit (the ball) forcefully over the net.
d. To make a sudden, intense effort to pass (a competitor in a race).
v.intr.
1. To make an attack; launch an assault: The enemy attacked during the night.
2. Sports
a. To make a play on offense; attempt to score.
b. To make a sudden, intense effort to pull ahead in a race.
n.
1. The act or an instance of attacking; an assault.
2. An expression of strong criticism; hostile comment: vicious attacks in all the newspapers.
3. Sports
a. Offensive play, especially in lacrosse.
b. An offensive play: Two midfielders were involved in the attack that resulted in a goal.
c. The players executing such a play.
d. Scoring ability or potential: a team with a powerful attack.
e. A forceful shot over the net in volleyball.
f. A sudden, intense effort to pull ahead in a race: waited until the last lap to begin her attack.
4.
a. The initial movement in a task or undertaking: made an optimistic attack on the pile of paperwork.
b. A method or procedure: Our attack on this project will have two phases.
5. An episode or onset of a disease, especially an occurrence of a chronic disease: an asthma attack.
6. The experience or beginning of a feeling, need, or desire: an attack of hunger; an attack of melancholy.
7.
a. Music The beginning or manner of beginning a piece, passage, or tone.
b. Decisiveness and clarity in artistic expression: a careful performance, but one lacking the rigorous attack the work demands.

[French attaquer, from Old French, from Old Italian *estaccare, of Germanic origin.]

at·tack′er n.
Synonyms: attack, assail, storm, assault, batter, beset
These verbs, drawn from military activity, mean in their figurative senses to act forcefully or aggressively toward someone or something. Attack applies especially to hostile verbal criticism: reviews that attacked the film for its senseless violence; attacked the ruling as detrimental to business interests.
Assail suggests repeated forceful attacks: Critics assailed the author's second novel.
Storm refers to a sudden sweeping attempt to overwhelm or win over: "After triumphantly storming the country, [the President] is obliged to storm Capitol Hill" (The Economist).
Assault and batter can suggest relentless attack or debilitating force: "We are all assaulted by so many messages battering us from the outside every hour of the day that our capacity for listening to our own inner voices is often drowned out" (Harvey Cox).
Beset suggests beleaguerment from all sides: "Rural and suburban areas have been beset by white-tailed deer gnawing shrubbery and crops, spreading disease" (Andrew C. Revkin).
Translations
References in classic literature ?
You can ensure the safety of your defense if you only hold positions that cannot be attacked.
And whoever shall fortify his town well, and shall have managed the other concerns of his subjects in the way stated above, and to be often repeated, will never be attacked without great caution, for men are always adverse to enterprises where difficulties can be seen, and it will be seen not to be an easy thing to attack one who has his town well fortified, and is not hated by his people.
He only attacked the snakes, which is, after all, his business in life.
If that were so, how was it that Mademoiselle had been attacked after?
He was always keyed up, alert for attack, wary of being attacked, with an eye for sudden and unexpected missiles, prepared to act precipitately and coolly, to leap in with a flash of teeth, or to leap away with a menacing snarl.
Thereupon the Policeman left the man in a fit and attacked the Citizen, who, after receiving several severe contusions, ran away.
He reported that his regiment had been attacked by French cavalry and that, though the attack had been repulsed, he had lost more than half his men.