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.

Nearby words

  1. ass.,
  2. assad,
  3. assad, hafez al-,
  4. assagai,
  5. assai,
  6. assailant,
  7. assam,
  8. assam states,
  9. assamese,
  10. assassin

Origin of assail

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

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 assailment



British Dictionary definitions for assailment

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 Formsassailable, 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

Word Origin and History for assailment

assail

v.

c.1200, from Old French assalir "attack, assault, assail" (12c., Modern French assaillir), from Vulgar Latin *adsalire "to leap at," from Latin ad- "at" (see ad-) + salire "to leap" (see salient (adj.)). Figurative use from mid-14c. Related: Assailed; assailing; assailable.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper