Something that is attackable can be attacked, taking its passive meaning. However, I'm looking for its active meaning, i.e. something that can attack. Is there a word for this in the English Language? Is it just attackable too?

For example, this would be used in sentences like: "All the attacking units are [something that can attack]s".

  • Can you please elaborate on why you need a new word and what you are trying to mean by it?
    – user140086
    Commented Feb 21, 2016 at 15:24
  • @Rathony I'm not asking for a new word, there is so many words in the English language I wouldn't be surprised if this was a word already and I just didn't know of it. Commented Feb 21, 2016 at 15:28
  • Power Thesaurus lists about 90 synonyms of invasive including 'hostile' and 'attacking'. Your sentence might be finished 'operational', 'active', 'ready for action'.... Commented Feb 21, 2016 at 16:12

2 Answers 2


Not a single word, but I'd say potential attackers. Here's an example in the wild from The New York Post:

France carries out raids, names more potential attackers

PARIS — French police raided 168 locations across the country and detained nearly two dozen people as authorities identified more members of a sleeper cell said to be behind the Paris attacks that killed 129 people.

Your example, albeit tautological, would go along the lines of:

"All the attacking units are potential attackers"

In this related post (Different way of writing “attackable” and “repairable”) there are some words that could fit the bill, such as potential aggresor or weaponisable, but they aren't etymologically related to "attack", if that's what you were looking for.

  • I think this does fit what I'm looking for, thanks :) Commented Feb 21, 2016 at 15:28
  • Hummmmm, "something that can attack". Anything can. A predator is most likely to. "potential", good answer.
    – user116032
    Commented Feb 21, 2016 at 17:23

Similar to the hyphenated adjective “combat-ready,” which ‘Dictionary[dot]com’ defines as “sufficiently equipped, trained, and numerically strong to engage an enemy,” you could perhaps consider “attack-ready."
(example usage from ‘STARS FALL ON PUDAHUEL 2nd Edition: (Never say: never, always or forever)’ by Mario Terrazas Guzmán, via Google Books)

If being “attack-ready” is too “on the verge/brink of attacking” for your context, you could scale it back a bit to “attack-capable.”
(example of usage from ‘Hearings, Reports and Prints of the House Committee on Armed Services,’ via Google Books)

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