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.

Keep scrolling for more

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 company braced itself for an onslaught of public demand for toys that would come with the release of the 1980 sequel. Alexander Huls, Popular Mechanics, "The Great Star Wars Heist," 7 Mar. 2019 Homeless shelters were preparing for the onslaught of cold. Ivan Moreno, The Seattle Times, "Heavy snow hitting parts of Midwest; dangerous cold coming," 28 Jan. 2019 Up and down the coast, residents were rushing to ready emergency kits, map out escape routes and secure their homes in preparation for the onslaught of rain and wind the intensifying storm is expected to bring. Fox News, "Hurricane Florence updated to Category 4 as it barrels toward Carolinas, Mid-Atlantic states," 13 Sep. 2018 But in spite of being under nearly a mile of solid ice, IceCube still faces an onslaught of about 2,500 such particles every second, each of which could plausibly have been due to a neutrino. Smithsonian, "Scientists Explain The Thrill of Detecting a Neutrino From a Far-Off Galaxy," 12 July 2018 The tax discrepancy is just one reason why dozens of retailers, facing an onslaught of competition from Amazon and other online stores, have folded, filed for bankruptcy or scaled back their operations in the last two years. David Pierson, latimes.com, "Bricks-and-mortar retailers get a boost from Supreme Court decision favoring online sales taxes," 21 June 2018 Nevada coach Musselman had to call a timeout to stop the onslaught. Tom Groeschen, Cincinnati.com, "Cincinnati Bearcats lose 22-point lead, fall 75-73 to Nevada in NCAA Tournament stunner," 18 Mar. 2018 But none of this comes close to stopping the current onslaught. Andrew Sullivan, Daily Intelligencer, "This nation pioneered modern life. Now epic numbers of Americans are killing themselves with opioids to escape it.," 20 Feb. 2018 Some claim this media onslaught paints a biased picture of the school. Alexander Nazaryan, Newsweek, "America’s Best and Drunkest," 11 Sep. 2014

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about onslaught

Statistics for onslaught

Last Updated

22 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for onslaught

The first known use of onslaught was circa 1625

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


a device or gadget

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!