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come at (someone or something)
1. To approach an issue or situation. I think we should start over because we've been coming at this problem all wrong.
2. To move toward someone or something in an aggressive or hostile manner. You can't come at a cat like that, or you'll scare it off. I was walking home when this guy came at me out of nowhere asking for bus fare.
3. To pelt or barrage someone with something. When I tried to break up the food fight, snacks and drinks came at me from all directions. The kids were so excited about the project that the ideas came at me all morning.
4. To achieve or attain something. She can come at this scholarship with good grades and hard work.
5. To agree or consent to something. Primarily heard in Australia. I had wanted to work from home, but my boss wouldn't come at it. The opposition won't come at our proposal, but they have nothing to offer of their own.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
come at someone or something
1. to make a threatening move toward someone or something. The gorilla came at the cage and shook the bars. Walter came at the cake as if he were going to snatch the whole thing.
2. to attack someone or something. The elephant came at us and we moved away. The cat came at the mouse and pounced on it.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. Get hold of, attain, as in You can come at a classical education with diligent study. [Mid-1800s]
2. Rush at, make for, attack, as in They came at him in full fore. [Mid-1600s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. To approach or address something, especially some situation or problem: This is a difficult problem, but we all came at it with interesting ideas.
2. To bombard or assail someone repeatedly or persistently: Questions came at the mayor one after the other, but she answered them all confidently.
3. To rush at someone, especially to attack: They came at me with knives, so I ran away.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.