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.
(At*tack"), v. i. To make an onset or attack.
(At*tack"), n. [Cf. F. attaque.]
1. The act of attacking, or falling on with force or violence; an onset; an assault; opposed to defense.
2. An assault upon one's feelings or reputation with unfriendly or bitter words.
3. A setting to work upon some task, etc.
4. An access of disease; a fit of sickness.
5. The beginning of corrosive, decomposing, or destructive action, by a chemical agent.
(At*tack"a*ble) a. Capable of being attacked.
(At*tack"er) n. One who attacks.
(At"ta*gas At"ta*gen) n. [L. attagen a kind of bird, Gr. .] (Zoöl.) A species of sand grouse
(Syrrghaptes Pallasii) found in Asia and rarely in southern Europe.
(At"ta*ghan) n. See Yataghan.
(At*tain") v. t. [imp. & p. p. Attained (-tand"); p. pr. & vb. n. Attaining.] [Of. atteinen, atteignen,
atainen, OF. ateindre, ataindre, F. atteindre, fr. L. attingere; ad + tangere to touch, reach. See Tangent,
and cf. Attinge, Attaint.]
1. To achieve or accomplish, that is, to reach by efforts; to gain; to compass; as, to attain rest.
Is he wise who hopes to attain the end without the means?
2. To gain or obtain possession of; to acquire. [Obs. with a material object.] Chaucer.
3. To get at the knowledge of; to ascertain. [Obs.]
Not well attaining his meaning.
4. To reach or come to, by progression or motion; to arrive at. "Canaan he now attains." Milton.
5. To overtake. [Obs.] Bacon.
6. To reach in excellence or degree; to equal.
Syn. To Attain, Obtain, Procure. Attain always implies an effort toward an object. Hence it is
not synonymous with obtain and procure, which do not necessarily imply such effort or motion. We
procure or obtain a thing by purchase or loan, and we obtain by inheritance, but we do not attain it
by such means.
(At*tain"), v. i.