Thesaurus

assault

noun

Synonyms & Antonyms of assault

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 the act of forcing a person to engage in sexual activity and especially intercourse
  • attended a class teaching women self-defense against assault

Synonyms for assault

Words Related to assault

  • acquaintance rape,
  • date rape,
  • statutory rape
  • gang rape

assault

verb

Synonyms & Antonyms of assault (Entry 2 of 2)

1 to engage in sexual activity and especially intercourse with a person unwilling or unable to give consent
  • was registered as a sex offender after assaulting the victim

Synonyms for assault

Words Related to assault

  • date rape
  • gang rape
2 to take sudden, violent action against
  • was found guilty of assaulting an officer
  • enemy forces assaulted the city

Synonyms for assault

Words Related to assault

Phrases Synonymous with assault

Near Antonyms for assault

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About assault

How does the verb assault contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of assault are assail, attack, bombard, and storm. While all these words mean "to make an onslaught upon," assault suggests a direct attempt to overpower by suddenness and violence of onslaught.

commandos assaulted the building from all sides

When could assail be used to replace assault?

While the synonyms assail and assault are close in meaning, assail implies attempting to break down resistance by repeated blows or shots.

assailed the enemy with artillery fire

When is it sensible to use attack instead of assault?

Although the words attack and assault have much in common, attack implies taking the initiative in a struggle.

plan to attack the town at dawn

When would bombard be a good substitute for assault?

The words bombard and assault are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, bombard applies to attacking with bombs or shells.

bombarded the city nightly

When is storm a more appropriate choice than assault?

The words storm and assault can be used in similar contexts, but storm implies attempting to break into a defended position.

preparing to storm the fortress

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About assault

Time Traveler for assault

Time Traveler

The first known use of assault was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Thesaurus Entries Near assault

assassins

assault

assault boat

See More Nearby Entries 

Cite this Entry

“Assault.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/assault. Accessed 16 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on assault

Nglish: Translation of assault for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of assault for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about assault

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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