Share this entry

Share this page

attack

Synonyms of attack in English:

verb

  • 1 Christopher had been brutally attacked
    assault, beat, beat up, batter, thrash, pound, pummel, assail, set upon, fall upon, set about, strike at, let fly at, tear into, lash out at;
    ambush, mug, pounce on
    informal jump, paste, do over, work over, knock about/around, rough up, lay into, lace into, sail into, pitch into, get stuck into, beat the living daylights out of, let someone have it
    British informal have a go at, duff someone up
    North American informal beat up on, light into
  • 2 by eight o'clock the French had still not attacked
    begin an assault, charge, pounce, strike, begin hostilities, ambush;
    bombard, shell, blitz, strafe, fire on/at;
    rush, storm
    [Antonyms] defend
  • 3 the clergy have consistently attacked government policies
    criticize, censure, condemn, castigate, chastise, lambaste, pillory, savage, find fault with, fulminate against, abuse;
    informal knock, slam, take to pieces, pull apart, crucify, bash, hammer, lay into, tear into, sail into, roast, give someone a roasting, cane, blast, bawl out, dress down, rap over the knuckles, have a go at, give someone hell
    North American informal chew out, ream out, pummel, cut up
    Australian/New Zealand informal bag
    British vulgar slang bollock, give someone a bollocking
    dated rate
    archaic slash
    [Antonyms] praise
  • 4 they have started to attack the problem of threatened species
    attend to, address, see to, deal with, grapple with, confront, direct one's attention to, focus on, concentrate on, apply oneself to;
    buckle down to, get to work on, go to work on, set to work on, set about, get started on, undertake, embark on
    informal get stuck into, get cracking on, get weaving on, have a crack at, have a go at, have a shot at, have a stab at
  • 5 the virus attacks the liver, heart, and lungs
    affect, have an effect on, strike, strike at, take hold of, infect;
    damage, injure
    [Antonyms] protect
  • noun

    Back to top  
  • 1 they were killed in an attack on their home
    act of aggression
    historical razzia
    archaic onset
  • 2 she wrote a ferociously hostile attack on him
    condemnation, denunciation, revilement;
    invective, vilification;
    tirade, diatribe, rant, polemic, broadside, harangue, verbal onslaught, stricture
    informal knocking, telling-off, dressing-down, rap over the knuckles, earful, roasting, rollicking, caning
    British informal rocket, wigging, slating, ticking off, carpeting, bashing, blast
    British vulgar slang bollocking
    dated rating
    rare philippic
    [Antonyms] commendation, defence
  • 3 she had suffered an acute asthmatic attack
  • Definition of attack in:

    Share this entry

    Share this page

     

    What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

    Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

    Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

    Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

    Word of the day resilient
    Pronunciation: rɪˈzɪlɪənt
    adjective
    able to recoil or spring back into shape…