Definitions of assail

  1. attack someone physically or emotionally; " The mugger assaulted the woman"; " Nightmares assailed him regularly"
  2. attack verbally, in speech or writing; " The editors of the left- leaning paper attacked the new House Speaker"
  3. 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"
  4. attack in speech or writing; " The editors of the left- leaning paper attacked the new House Speaker"
  5. launch an attack or assault on; begin hostilities or start warfare with; " Hitler attacked Poland on September 1, 1939 and started World War II"; " Serbian forces assailed Bosnian towns all week"
  6. 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.
  7. To encounter or meet purposely with the view of mastering, as an obstacle, difficulty, or the like.
  8. 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.
  9. To fall upon or attack violently; to attack with argument or abuse.
  10. Assailable.
  11. To assault: to attack.
  12. To attack violently; assault; upbraid.
  13. To fall upon with violence; to attack; to assault.
  14. To leap or fall upon by violence; to attack with a view to overcome or injure, as in words or writing.

Usage examples for assail

  1. The last has not been needed as an incentive for him to assail you, Don Francisco. – The Lone Ranche by Captain Mayne Reid
  2. Such difficulties never assail any one but me! – Baron Trigault's Vengeance Volume 2 (of 2) by Emile Gaboriau
  3. Though she had known instinctively that all the early part of her life had favored this daring project, and the next few years would hinder it if they could, still there was something within her stronger than any doubts that could possibly assail her. – A Country Doctor and Selected Stories and Sketches by Sarah Orne Jewett
  4. This objection is rather poor ground on which to assail the historic character of the piece. – The Three Additions to Daniel, A Study by William Heaford Daubney
  5. What foe shall assail thee, Bearing the standard of Liberty's van? – The Little Book of the Flag by Eva March Tappan
  6. Is it the time, while yet the singers are beneath the windows, to assail the bride? – The Weavers, Complete by Gilbert Parker Last Updated: March 14, 2009
  7. The melancholy and at the same time dignified manner in which Gustave spoke banished the last trace of sternness from Monsieur Gerbault's face; he took the young man's hand and pressed it warmly, saying to him: " Come, come, my friend, drive away the gloomy thoughts that assail you. – Monsieur Cherami by Charles Paul de Kock
  8. When Marcus lay awake that night there was no deadly coldness at his heart, no lurking demon of despondency, waiting for the small dark hours to assail him. – Doctor Luttrell's First Patient by Rosa Nouchette Carey
  9. It even happened occasionally that one of them would go and hide behind the piles of timber, and assail Miette and Silvere with boyish jeers. – The Fortune of the Rougons by Emile Zola
  10. Our young Indians foresee not in the morning the storm that is to assail them in the evening. – Adventures in the Philippine Islands by Paul P. de La Gironière
  11. Now she would run at one with her sharp horns, now at another, but the moment she had gone in one direction the brutes would assail her helpless young one. – Adventures in Australia by W.H.G. Kingston
  12. They assail you by ideas, not by insidious structures of thought. – Definitions by Henry Seidel Canby
  13. From the windows of his residence they could see the pirates assail their ship and, ere they could hasten back to it, the crew had surrendered. – The Corsair King by Mór Jókai
  14. Then the forces of the air assail them. – The-Grand-Canyon-of-Arizona-how-to-see-it by James, George Wharton
  15. What thoughts discordant then my heart assail, In doubt, if scorn or pity should prevail! – The Poems of Giacomo Leopardi by Giacomo Leopardi
  16. This was inevitable, for the object was to assail it rather than to understand it. – Recollections and Impressions 1822-1890 by Octavius Brooks Frothingham
  17. Not for me, or he would assail me and capture me and put me to the torture to tell him where Hugo is, for he thinketh Hugo is Josceline, which he is not, but a stranger, and a headstrong one. – A Boy's Ride by Gulielma Zollinger
  18. At first I was under the impression that they had come there to assail myself, but I now thought differently, and felt less apprehension of their attacking me. – The Boy Tar by Mayne Reid
  19. No one else was likely to assail her, unless it was Bobby Trench himself; and him alone she had never feared. – The Honour of the Clintons by Archibald Marshall