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Webster 1913 Edition


Assail

As-sail′

(ăs-sāl′)
,
Verb.
T.
[
imp. & p. p.
Assailed
(-sāld′)
;
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
.

Webster 1828 Edition


Assail

ASSA'IL

,
Verb.
T.
[L. assilio, to leap or rush upon, of ad and salio, to leap, to rise.]
1.
To leap or fall upon by violence; to assault; to attack suddenly, as when one person falls upon another to beat him.
2.
To invade or attack, in a hostile manner, as an army, or nation.
3.
To attack with arguments, censure,abuse, or criticism, with a view to injure, bring into disrepute, or overthrow.
4.
To attack, with a view to overcome, by motives applied to the passions.
Nor hide the encounter of assailing eyes.

Definition 2022


assail

assail

English

Verb

assail (third-person singular simple present assails, present participle assailing, simple past and past participle assailed)

  1. 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").

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