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assail

play
verb as·sail \ə-ˈsāl\

Simple Definition of assail

  • : to attack or criticize (someone or something) in a violent or angry way

Full Definition of assail

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to attack violently with blows or words

as·sail·ableplay \-ˈsā-lə-bəl\ adjective
as·sail·antplay \-ˈsā-lənt\ noun

Examples of assail

  1. The movie was assailed by critics.

  2. politicians assailed by the media



Origin of assail

Middle English, from Anglo-French assaillir, from Vulgar Latin *assalire, alteration of Latin assilire to leap upon, from ad- + salire to leap — more at sally


First Known Use: 13th century

Synonym Discussion of assail

attack, assail, assault, bombard, storm mean to make an onslaught upon. attack implies taking the initiative in a struggle <plan to attack the town at dawn>. assail implies attempting to break down resistance by repeated blows or shots <assailed the enemy with artillery fire>. assault suggests a direct attempt to overpower by suddenness and violence of onslaught <commandos assaulted the building from all sides>. bombard applies to attacking with bombs or shells <bombarded the city nightly>. storm implies attempting to break into a defended position <preparing to storm the fortress>.

ASSAILANT Defined for Kids

assailant

noun as·sail·ant \ə-ˈsā-lənt\

Definition of assailant

  1. :  a person who attacks someone violently





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