- The definition of assail is to physically or verbally attack someone.
- Making fun of someone in a hurtful way is an example of to assail.
- Hitting someone is an example of to assail.
- to attack physically and violently; assault
- to attack with arguments, questions, doubts, etc.
- to begin working on (a task, problem, etc.) with vigor and determination
- to have a forceful effect on: a loud noise assailed her ears
Origin of assailMiddle English assailen ; from Old French asaillir ; from Vulgar Latin assalire, for Classical Latin assilire, to leap on ; from ad-, to + salire, to leap: see salient
transitive verbas·sailed, as·sail·ing, as·sails
- To attack violently, as with blows or military force; assault.
- To attack verbally, as with ridicule or censure. See Synonyms at attack.
- To trouble or beset, as with questions or doubts.
Origin of assailMiddle English assailen, from Old French asalir, asaill-, from Vulgar Latin *assalīre, variant of Latin assilīre, to jump on : ad-, onto; see ad– + salīre, to jump; see sel- in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present assails, present participle assailing, simple past and past participle assailed)
- To attack violently using words or force.
- Muggers assailed them as they entered an alley.
- For the next six months or so those children will assail her in public with demands for an improper story! (from H.H. Munro's short story, "The Storyteller").