[ on-slawt, awn- ]
/ ˈɒnˌslɔt, ˈɔn- /


an onset, assault, or attack, especially a vigorous one.

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for onslaught

British Dictionary definitions for onslaught


/ (ˈɒnˌslɔːt) /


a violent attack

Word Origin for onslaught

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper