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assault

[uh-sawlt]
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noun
  1. a sudden, violent attack; onslaught: an assault on tradition.
  2. 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.
  3. Military. the stage of close combat in an attack.
  4. rape1.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to make an assault upon; attack; assail.
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Origin of assault

1200–50; Middle English asaut < Old French < Medieval Latin assaltus (replacing Latin assultus), equivalent to Latin as- as- + saltus a leap (sal(īre) to leap + -tus suffix of v. action)
Related formsas·sault·a·ble, adjectiveas·sault·er, nouncoun·ter·as·sault, verb (used with object), nounnon·as·sault, nounun·as·sault·a·ble, adjectiveun·as·sault·ed, adjective
Can be confusedassault battery

Synonyms

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1. onset, charge; invasion, aggression.

Synonym study

5. See attack.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for assaulted

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Fancy it being known I had been assaulted by a—you see what I mean.

    Ruggles of Red Gap

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • He was assaulted by them, resisted, killed two and was himself slain.

  • He went to the factory, demanded his children, and assaulted the caretaker.

    Adventures and Recollections

    Bill o'th' Hoylus End

  • The thoroughfares are blocked, and people are pushed about and assaulted.

    The Christian

    Hall Caine

  • I was assaulted by a footpad near Abrantes, as if I was worth robbing.

    The Snare

    Rafael Sabatini


British Dictionary definitions for assaulted

assault

noun
  1. a violent attack, either physical or verbal
  2. 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
    1. the culmination of a military attack, in which fighting takes place at close quarters
    2. (as modifier)assault troops
  3. rape or attempted rape
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verb (tr)
  1. to make an assault upon
  2. to rape or attempt to rape
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Derived Formsassaulter, nounassaultive, adjective

Word Origin

C13: from Old French asaut, from Vulgar Latin assaltus (unattested), from assalīre (unattested) to leap upon; see assail
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 assaulted

assault

n.

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.

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assault

v.

early 15c., from Middle French asauter, assauter, from Vulgar Latin *assaltare (see assault (n.)). Related: Assaulted; assaulting.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper