• synonyms


[on-slawt, awn-]
See more synonyms for onslaught on Thesaurus.com
  1. an onset, assault, or attack, especially a vigorous one.
Show More

Origin of onslaught

1615–25; < Dutch aanslag a striking, (earlier) attack (equivalent to aan on + slag blow, stroke; akin to slay), with assimilation to obsolete slaught slaughter
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for onslaught

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

British Dictionary definitions for onslaught


  1. a violent attack
Show More

Word Origin

C17: from Middle Dutch aenslag, from aan on + slag a blow, related to slay
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 onslaught


1620s, anslaight, somehow from or on analogy of Dutch aanslag "attack," from Middle Dutch aenslach, from aen "on" (see on) + slach "blow," related to slaen "slay." Spelling influenced by obsolete (since c.1400) English slaught (n.) "slaughter," from Old English sleaht (see slaughter (n.)). No record of its use in 18c.; apparently revived by Scott.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper