on·​slaught | \ ˈän-ˌslȯt How to pronounce onslaught (audio) , ˈȯn-\

Definition of onslaught

: an especially fierce attack the tremendous onslaught across the Rhine— Sir Winston Churchill also : something resembling such an attack an onslaught of technological changes Employers are expecting an onslaught of recent college graduates.

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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

The question of whether or not a reboot would be good is a real one, given how often the sitcom revivals that have been green-lit in our current onslaught simply don’t do justice to their originals. Vogue, "Parks and Recreation Might Really Be Coming Back," 22 Mar. 2019 The literature of ancient America is mostly lost to us today, except for a few scattered remnants of poems, histories and myths that survived the onslaught of European contact and its waves of cultural destruction. David Stuart, WSJ, "‘The Popol Vuh’ Review: A New World Epic," 1 Feb. 2019 But a viciously difficult, road-heavy schedule and an onslaught of injuries factored into a massive decline. Josh Robbins, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Bucks' second-half surge drops Magic 102-86," 10 Apr. 2018 The Fire survived an absolute onslaught in the second half to hang on to their first win of the 2018 season, 1-0 over the Columbus Crew. Juan Pimiento, chicagotribune.com, "Man United spoil City's party, Fire get their first win and the best of the soccer weekend," 8 Apr. 2018 The Pistons had to survive an onslaught from forward Michael Beasley, who scored a game-high 32 points on 14-for-21 shooting. Vince Ellis, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Pistons use balanced attack to nip New York Knicks, 115-109," 31 Mar. 2018 Both are normally evergreen, and both will ultimately survive this latest onslaught, but both need to be trimmed soon to remove all the browned foliage. Neil Sperry, star-telegram, "What gardeners should take away from this winter’s extended cold snap," 26 Jan. 2018 Doing it outside on a Manhattan street, with all the cars, buses, traffic lights, people, strollers and bicycles, would feel like an onslaught. Caren Chesler, Popular Mechanics, "A Vision Quest," 6 Mar. 2019 Or take your time accumulating wealth and spending it at various pay-for-upgrade kiosks, while dealing with an increasingly awful onslaught? Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "The 16 surprising new games that made PAX West an absolute blast," 9 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'onslaught.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of onslaught

circa 1625, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for onslaught

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

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Statistics for onslaught

Last Updated

13 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for onslaught

The first known use of onslaught was circa 1625

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More Definitions for onslaught



English Language Learners Definition of onslaught

: a violent attack


on·​slaught | \ ˈän-ˌslȯt How to pronounce onslaught (audio) , ˈȯn-\

Kids Definition of onslaught

: a violent attack

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Comments on onslaught

What made you want to look up onslaught? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to affect and impair by alcohol or a drug

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