- a sudden, violent attack; onslaught: an assault on tradition.
- Law. an unlawful physical attack upon another; an attempt or offer to do violence to another, with or without battery, as by holding a stone or club in a threatening manner.
- Military. the stage of close combat in an attack.
- to make an assault upon; attack; assail.
Origin of assault
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for assault
Luckily, Tor was prepared for this sort of assault, and has built-in defenses to protect against it.The Attack on the Hidden Internet
December 29, 2014
In their midst stands a soldier with the Lebanese armed forces in a red beret, sporting an assault rifle and an unblinking stare.A Sunni-Shia Love Story Imperiled by al Qaeda
December 26, 2014
For them, the trauma of assault can be compounded by a lack of institutional support, and even disciplinary action.Jameis Winston Cleared of Rape Like Every Other College Sports Star
December 22, 2014
Bill Cosby is facing allegations of assault and sexual misconduct by many women.‘I Saved My Friend From Bill Cosby’
December 3, 2014
Although Korra looks at PTSD and assault with supernatural grandiosity, fans were quick to pick up on it in some forums.Science-Fiction TV Finds a New Muse: Feminism
November 29, 2014
It was more like abduction complicated with assault and battery.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
Nor is there in this view any assault upon the court or the judges.
Next day the assault was repeated, but again without success.Stories from Thucydides
H. L. Havell
Now, with strong reinforcements, he is preparing for a third assault.Camps, Quarters and Casual Places
How can you swear, then, that the prisoner made the assault?The Underdog
F. Hopkinson Smith
- a violent attack, either physical or verbal
- law an intentional or reckless act that causes another person to expect to be subjected to immediate and unlawful violenceCompare battery (def. 4), assault and battery
- the culmination of a military attack, in which fighting takes place at close quarters
- (as modifier)assault troops
- rape or attempted rape
- to make an assault upon
- to rape or attempt to rape
Word Origin and History for assault
late 14c., earlier asaut (c.1200), from Old French asaut, assaut "an attack, an assault, attacking forces" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *adsaltus "attack, assault," from ad "to" (see ad-) + Latin saltus "a leap," from salire "to leap, spring" (see assail). In law by 1580s; historically, assault includes menacing words or actions; battery is an actual blow.
early 15c., from Middle French asauter, assauter, from Vulgar Latin *assaltare (see assault (n.)). Related: Assaulted; assaulting.