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[uh-sey-luh nt] /əˈseɪ lənt/
a person who attacks.
Archaic. assailing; attacking; hostile.
Origin of assailant
From the Middle French word assaillant, dating back to 1525-35. See assail, -ant Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for assailant
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The assailant must say "This hurts me more than it hurts you."

  • He could not even guess at his assailant, much less reach him.

    Good Indian B. M. Bower
  • He did not know why she told him all that, and he could not learn from her anything about his assailant.

    Good Indian B. M. Bower
  • She grasped the arm of her assailant and struggled with all her might, but to no purpose.

    The Film of Fear Arnold Fredericks
  • He parried the blow on his sabre, and with the flat of it knocked his assailant senseless.

    The Snare Rafael Sabatini
British Dictionary definitions for assailant


a person who attacks another, either physically or verbally: he was unable to recognize his assailants
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
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Word Origin and History for assailant

1530s, from French assailant, noun use of present participle of assailir (see assail). Earlier in same sense was assailer (c.1400).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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