attack

Definitions

General English

  • noun the act of trying to hurt someone or something
  • noun a sudden return of a particular illness
  • verb to try to hurt someone or to hit someone

Cars & Driving

  • noun an example of corrosion or another damaging, especially chemical, action
  • verb to damage, especially by corrosion

Computing

  • noun the shape of the start of a sound signal over time

Cricket

  • noun the bowling resources available to a side; the bowlers considered collectively
    Citation ‘The Leewards … have a pace attack, consisting of five Antiguans, that is surely the most formidable since the Barbadian quartet of Joel Garner, Malcolm Marshall, Wayne Daniel and Sylvester Clarke of the 1980s’ (Caribbean cricket Quarterly Jan-March 1994)
    Citation ‘McGrath’s grunts of pain were still fresh in his ears when he [Ponting] inserted England, perhaps partly as a vote of confidence in the rest of his attack’ (Haigh 2005)

Electronics

  • The interval within which a pulse rises from 0 to its maximum amplitude.
  • The interval within which a sound rises from 0 decibels to its maximum loudness.
  • The response of a circuit, such as an automatic gain control, to signals.

Law

  • noun the act of trying to hurt or harm someone

Military

  • adjective designed for offensive action
  • noun an offensive use of force in order to achieve an objective (e.g. the capture of ground)
  • verb to act offensively against an enemy, a position, etc.

Sports

  • verb to attempt to defeat, or score against, an opponent in a competitive game or sport

Wine

  • the initial taste of a wine

Origin & History of “attack”

Attack reached English via French attaquer from Italian attaccare ‘attach, join’, which, like Old French atachier (source of English attach) was based on a hypothetical Germanic *stakōn (from which English gets stake). Phrases such as attaccare battaglia ‘join battle’ led to attaccare being used on its own to mean ‘attack’. Attach and attack are thus ‘doublets’ – that is, words with the same ultimate derivation but different meanings.
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