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Definition of "assail" [as•sail]

  • To attack with or as if with violent blows; assault. (verb-transitive)
  • To attack verbally, as with ridicule or censure. See Synonyms at attack. (verb-transitive)
  • To trouble; beset: was assailed by doubts. (verb-transitive)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "assail" in a sentence
  • "If Scotland be to rest under the happy reign of Robert Bruce, then envy cannot again assail Sir William Wallace, and my father has not shed his blood in vain."
  • "_ Gazing in a dazed way at the awful sights of this circle, Dante learns it is twenty-one miles in circumference, ere he passes on to the next bridge, where lamentations such as assail one's ears in a hospital constantly arise."
  • "It was hard to think, hard even to pray, gloomy ideas, and doubts, and fears, such as assail even true Christians, crowded on his mind."