attack in a vicious way
maul - attack
The word ‘maul’ both figuratively and literally means to attack viciously. In a literal sense, it is used to express tearing at the flesh of somebody or something, usually with teeth or nails. Figuratively, it describes being strongly criticized.
I just know that critics are going to maul my latest book. They have always had it in for me.
Jack is quite a mauler. He really goes after his rivals in his weekly newspaper column.
The lion viciously mauled the man who fell into its enclosure at the zoo. He is now in critical condition.