on·​slaught ˈän-ˌslȯt How to pronounce onslaught (audio)
: an especially fierce attack
the tremendous onslaught across the RhineSir Winston Churchill
also : something resembling such an attack
an onslaught of technological changes
Employers are expecting an onslaught of recent college graduates.

Examples of onslaught in a Sentence

an onslaught by the enemy the massive onslaught of enemy troops caught the country by surprise
Recent Examples on the Web This idea of beaver dams calming the onslaught of floods is widely documented, but some scientists caution that the effects can vary substantially. Jason Thomson, The Christian Science Monitor, 15 Feb. 2024 Rather, social media platforms must hire the right trust and safety personnel to prepare for the incoming onslaught of false election stories and other unexpected hoaxes. Jonathan Freger, Forbes, 12 Feb. 2024 The Bulls continued their onslaught in overtime, pulling Towns into seemingly every defensive action and generating good looks because of it. Jace Frederick, Twin Cities, 7 Feb. 2024 Related article Missile blitz, jet drones, night camouflage: Kyiv warns how Russia could overwhelm air defenses International analysts say the onslaught of Russian missiles, stockpiled for months, aims to overwhelm Ukraine’s limited missile defense. Jack Guy, CNN, 7 Feb. 2024 But with the recent onslaught of record-breaking natural disasters, many Americans are feeling increasingly vulnerable. Jon Bostock, Fortune, 25 Jan. 2024 Some say protecting Loudoun’s gravel roads will ensure that its rustic soul and charm survive a suburban onslaught. Jayne Orenstein, Washington Post, 7 Feb. 2024 But these attacks have not halted or seemingly slowed the onslaught. Noam Raydan, Foreign Affairs, 6 Feb. 2024 Specifically, an onslaught of respiratory infections in 2022 could have revved up children's immune responses, which in turn prevented EV-D68 from progressing to neurologic disease and paralysis—aka the viral interference hypothesis. 2022 was a blockbuster year for respiratory viruses, generally. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, 5 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'onslaught.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


modification of Dutch aanslag act of striking; akin to Old English an on and to Old English slēan to strike — more at slay

First Known Use

circa 1625, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of onslaught was circa 1625

Dictionary Entries Near onslaught

Cite this Entry

“Onslaught.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/onslaught. Accessed 3 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


on·​slaught ˈän-ˌslȯt How to pronounce onslaught (audio)
: a violent attack

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