AskDefine | Define assail

Dictionary Definition



1 attack someone physically or emotionally; "The mugger assaulted the woman"; "Nightmares assailed him regularly" [syn: assault, set on, attack]
2 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" [syn: attack] [ant: defend]
3 attack in speech or writing; "The editors of the left-leaning paper attacked the new House Speaker" [syn: attack, round, lash out, snipe, assault]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. To attack violently.
    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").

Extensive Definition

Assail may refer to:

See also

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

ambush, assault, attack, blister, blitz, bushwhack, castigate, censure, come at, come down on, crack down on, criminate, cry out against, cry out on, cry shame upon, descend on, descend upon, excoriate, fall on, fall upon, flay, fustigate, gang up on, go at, go for, harry, have at, hit, hit like lightning, implicate, impugn, incriminate, inculpate, involve, jump, land on, lash, lay at, lay hands on, lay into, light into, mug, pitch into, pounce upon, pound, roast, sail into, scarify, scathe, scorch, set on, set upon, skin alive, slash, strike, surprise, swoop down on, take the offensive, trounce, wade into
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