- 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