assail

[ uh-seyl ]
/ əˈseɪl /

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.

Origin of assail

1175–1225; Middle English asaylen < Old French asalir < Late Latin assalīre, equivalent to Latin as- as- + salīre to leap, spring

SYNONYMS FOR assail

Related forms

Synonym study

1. See attack.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for assailing

British Dictionary definitions for assailing

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

Derived Forms

assailable, adjectiveassailer, nounassailment, noun

Word Origin for assail

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