From on- +‎ rush. Compare Middle English onresen (to rush upon; attack), from Old English onrǣsan (to rush, rush on); Old English onrǣs (an onrush, assault, attack).



onrush (plural onrushes)

  1. A forceful rush or flow forward.
    • 1856, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Aurora Leigh, New York: C.S. Francis & Co., 1857, First Book, pp. 32-33,[1]
      The love within us and the love without
      Are mixed, confounded; if we are loved or love,
      We scarce distinguish. So, with other power.
      Being acted on and acting seem the same:
      In that first onrush of life’s chariot-wheels,
      We know not if the forests move or we.
    • 1958, Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart, London: William Heinemann, Chapter 22,
      For a brief moment the onrush of the egwugwu [masked men representing ancestral spirits] was checked by the unexpected composure of the two men. But it was only a momentary check, like the tense silence between blasts of thunder. The second onrush was greater than the first. It swallowed up the two men.
    • 1987, Paul Goldberger, “A Baker’s Dozen of New York City’s Urban Masterpieces,” New York Times, 31 July, 1987,[2]
      So persistent is the onrush of new construction in New York that the first temptation for the architecture buff is to track down the latest things, be they good or bad []
  2. An aggressive assault.




onrush (third-person singular simple present onrushes, present participle onrushing, simple past and past participle onrushed)

  1. To rush or flow forward forcefully.
  2. To assault aggressively.