- 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 assailment
As for the men, they twisted every item about Gourlay and his domicile into fresh matter of assailment.The House with the Green Shutters
George Douglas Brown
Franklin sat by the side of Jefferson, as the admirable document was subjected to this assailment.
Was he not member, duly elected, without possibility of assailment in his legal right?Annie Besant
- 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 assailment
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper