on·​slaught | \ˈän-ˌslȯt, 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

In Virginia Tech’s Norris Hall, an engineering building where a student killed 30 of his 32 students and faculty victims in 2007, officials sought extensive community input on what to do with the wing where the onslaught occurred. Meredith Cohn, baltimoresun.com, "What happens to the sites of mass shootings depends on where and what they are," 10 July 2018 But with heavy rains forecast in the coming days, the onslaught could worsen the flooding where the team is trapped, making rescue efforts complicated. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News, "Thai soccer team rescue efforts 'will take time': A look at some of the options," 3 July 2018 The onslaught of Garfield collectibles began early. David Lindquist, Indianapolis Star, "Garfield turns 40: Nine lives of Indiana’s top cartoon cat," 19 June 2018 The onslaught of breakdowns began shortly after the problems were discovered. Matt Rocheleau, BostonGlobe.com, "Contractor defends repair work on troubled Steamship authority ferries," 13 June 2018 The onslaught of attention on Hagerty has calmed down in the last five years. Mahita Gajanan, Time, "Viral Olive Garden Reviewer on Her Special Bond With Anthony Bourdain After He Came to Her Defense: 'He Was Nothing But Kind'," 8 June 2018 The onslaught of molten lava bombs seemed unstoppable, and Clinton's task seemed far too dangerous. Nicole Chavez, CNN, "More evacuations ordered in Hawaii as volcano activity intensifies," 26 May 2018 The Terriers were able to hold out until half time, but the onslaught continued after the hour mark, where three goals in the space of four minutes from Olivier Giroud, Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil put Arsenal in cruise control. SI.com, "Huddersfield Town vs Arsenal Preview: Classic Encounter, Key Battles, Team News & More," 12 May 2018 There was no escaping the Dodgers’ fourth-inning onslaught. Jeff Sanders, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Again, Dodgers beat up on Padres' Luis Perdomo," 9 July 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

9 Nov 2018

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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, 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).


playful or foolish behavior

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