Synonyms of attack in English:


See US English definition of attack

See UK English definition of attack

See Spanish definition of ataque


1‘Christopher had been brutally attacked’

assault, beat, beat up, batter, thrash, pound, pummel, assail, set upon, fall upon, strike at, let fly at, tear into, lash out at, aggress
ambush, mug, pounce on
informal jump, paste, do over, work over, knock about, knock 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 set about, 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 at, fire on
rush, storm


3‘the clergy have consistently attacked government policies’

criticize, censure, condemn, castigate, chastise, lambast, pillory, savage, find fault with, fulminate against, abuse
berate, reprove, rebuke, reprimand, admonish, remonstrate with, reproach, take to task, haul over the coals, impugn, harangue, blame, revile, vilify, give someone a bad press
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
British informal carpet, slate, slag off, rubbish, monster, rollick, give someone a rollicking, give someone a rocket, tear someone off a strip, tear a strip off someone
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
rare excoriate, objurgate, reprehend


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



1‘they were killed in an attack on their home’

assault, onslaught, offensive, strike, blitz, raid, sortie, sally, storming, charge, rush, drive, push, thrust, invasion, incursion, inroad
act of aggression
historical razzia
archaic onset

2‘she wrote a ferociously hostile attack on him’

criticism, censure, rebuke, admonition, admonishment, reprimand, reproval
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

commendation, defence

3‘she had suffered an acute asthmatic attack’

fit, seizure, spasm, convulsion, paroxysm, outburst, flare-up
bout, spell, dose
rare access