Definitions for: Assail


[v] attack verbally, in speech or writing; "The editors of the left-leaning paper attacked the new House Speaker"
[v] launch an attack or assault on; begin hostilities with, as in warfare; "Hitler attacked Poland on September 1, 1939 and started World War II"; "Serbian forces assailed Bosnian towns all week"
[v] attack someone physically or emotionally; "The mugger assaulted the woman"; "Nightmares assailed him regularly"



Webster (1913) Definition: As*sail" ([a^]s*s[=a]l"), v. t. [imp. & p. p.
Assailed (-s[=a]ld"); p. pr. & vb. n. Assailing.] [OE.
assailen, asailen, OF. asaillir, assailler, F. assaillir; a
(L. ad) + saillir to burst out, project, fr. L. salire to
leap, spring; cf. L. assilire to leap or spring upon. See
Sally.]
1. To attack with violence, or in a vehement and hostile
manner; to assault; to molest; as, to assail a man with
blows; to assail a city with artillery.

No rude noise mine ears assailing. --Cowper.

No storm can now assail The charm he wears within.
--Keble.

2. To encounter or meet purposely with the view of mastering,
as an obstacle, difficulty, or the like.

The thorny wilds the woodmen fierce assail. --Pope.

3. To attack morally, or with a view to produce changes in
the feelings, character, conduct, existing usages,
institutions; to attack by words, hostile influence, etc.;
as, to assail one with appeals, arguments, abuse,
ridicule, and the like.

The papal authority . . . assailed. --Hallam.

They assailed him with keen invective; they assailed
him with still keener irony. --Macaulay.

Syn: To attack; assault; invade; encounter; fall upon. See
Attack.

Synonyms: assault, assault, attack, attack, lash out, round, set on, snipe

Antonyms: defend

See Also: abuse, bait, barrage, beleaguer, beset, besiege, blackguard, blister, blitz, bomb, bombard, bulldog, bust, cannonade, circumvent, clapperclaw, claw, counterattack, counterstrike, criticise, criticize, desecrate, dishonor, dishonour, fight, gas, hem in, hit, invade, jump, molest, occupy, outrage, pelt, pepper, pick apart, profane, raid, rape, ravish, reassail, rip, rubbish, rush, savage, set, set upon, shout, sic, storm, strike, struggle, submarine, surprise, surround, torpedo, violate, vitriol, whang, whip

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