verb (used without object)

  1. to commit the first act of hostility or offense; attack first.
  2. to begin to quarrel.

verb (used with object)

  1. to behave aggressively toward; attack (often followed by upon): wild animals aggressing their prey.


  1. (intr) to attack first or begin a quarrel

“attack,” 1714, back-formation from aggression, but used earlier with a sense of “approach” (1570s) and in this sense from French aggresser, from Late Latin aggressare, frequentative of Latin aggredi “to approach, attack.” Related: Aggressed; aggressing.

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