- (transitive) To attack with harsh words or violent force (also figuratively).
- Muggers assailed them as they entered an alley.
- Our ears were assailed by her joyous efforts on her new saxophone.
- 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, London: William Ponsonby, Book 1, Canto 6, pp. 76-77,
- c. 1600, William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act I, Scene 1,
- […] let us once again assail your ears,
- That are so fortified against our story,
- What we two nights have seen.
- 1897, Saki, “The Story-teller” in Beasts and Super-beasts, London: John Lane, 1914, p. 238,
- “ […] for the next six months or so those children will assail her in public with demands for an improper story!”
- 1942, Zora Neale Hurston, Dust Tracks on a Road, New York: Arno Press and The New York Times, 1969, Chapter 14, p. 258,
- We got married immediately after I finished my work […] which should have been the happiest day of my life. […] ¶ But, it was not my happiest day. I was assailed by doubts.
- 2007, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Wizard of the Crow, Nairobo: East African Educational Publishers, Book 2, Chapter 3, p. 64,
- He did not like being in crowds, foul smells galore assailing his nostrils.
to attack violently