- 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 assailing
Assailing her at every turn has been her rapacious political rival, Tony Abbott.Aussie P.M. Narrowly Escapes Protest, Leaves Shoe Behind
January 28, 2012
Indeed, I fear that assailing none, I may have offended all.The Story of the Malakand Field Force
Sir Winston S. Churchill
The terrible temptation which was assailing me will now be understood.The Prisoner of Zenda
I was attacked, and my followers killed, by the rajah now assailing this place.At the Point of the Bayonet
G. A. Henty
We cannot do it, my friends, by assailing our Republican brethren.Hidden Treasures
Harry A. Lewis
The allies were much disappointed in finding their plan of assailing the village by surprise frustrated.
- 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 assailing
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper