Assail meaning

ə-sāl
To begin working on (a task, problem, etc.) with vigor and determination.
verb
2
1
To have a forceful effect on.

A loud noise assailed her ears.

verb
2
1
To attack violently, as with blows or military force; assault.
verb
2
2
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.

verb
1
0
To attack verbally, as with ridicule or censure.
verb
1
2
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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").

verb
0
1
To trouble or beset, as with questions or doubts.
verb
0
2
To attack physically and violently; assault.
verb
0
2
To attack with arguments, questions, doubts, etc.
verb
0
2

Origin of assail

  • Middle English assailen from Old French asalir asaill- from Vulgar Latin assalīre variant of Latin assilīre to jump on ad- onto ad– salīre to jump sel- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • Old French verb asaillir, from Latin assiliō, from ad (“towards”) + saliō (“to jump”). See also assault.

    From Wiktionary