- to attack vigorously or violently; assault.
- to attack with arguments, criticism, ridicule, abuse, etc.: to assail one's opponent with slander.
- to undertake with the purpose of mastering: He assailed his studies with new determination.
- to impinge upon; make an impact on; beset: His mind was assailed by conflicting arguments. The light assailed their eyes.
Origin of assail
1175–1225; Middle English asaylen < Old French asalir < Late Latin assalīre, equivalent to Latin as- as- + salīre to leap, spring
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
2. asperse, malign.
1. See attack.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for assailable
Martin was that species of man which, of all others, is most assailable by flattery.The Martins Of Cro' Martin, Vol. II (of II)
Charles James Lever
But the character of a minister is the most assailable of that of any of the professions.Watch Yourself Go By
Al. G. Field
While she had been engaged to Captain Aylmer, Will had felt that she was not assailable.
She was assailable;—and, as this was so, why the mischief should he not set about the work at once?
The north and west sides are the most assailable parts of the city.Letters from Palestine
J. D. Paxton
- to attack violently; assault
- to criticize or ridicule vehemently, as in argument
- to beset or disturbhis mind was assailed by doubts
- to encounter with the intention of masteringto assail a problem; to assail a difficult mountain ridge
C13: from Old French asalir, from Vulgar Latin assalīre (unattested) to leap upon, from Latin assilīre, from salīre to leap
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for assailable
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper