- (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.
- c. 1599–1602 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act I, scene i]:
- […] 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