Dictionary.com

assail

[ uh-seyl ]
/ əˈseɪl /
Save This Word!
See synonyms for: assail / assailed / assailable / assailer on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object)

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.

QUIZZES

QUIZ YOURSELF ON “ITS” VS. “IT’S”!

Apostrophes can be tricky; prove you know the difference between it’s and its in this crafty quiz!
Question 1 of 12
On the farm, the feed for chicks is significantly different from the roosters’; ______ not even comparable.

Origin of assail

1175–1225; Middle English asaylen<Old French asalir<Late Latin assalīre, equivalent to Latin as-as- + salīre to leap, spring
1. See attack.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for assail

assail
/ (əˈseɪl) /

verb (tr)

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
assailable, adjectiveassailer, nounassailment, noun
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
What's This Word?