assail

To assail is to attack or assault — with throwing stars, fists, words or, less tangibly but just as violently, with troubles or doubts.

Believe it or not, assail evolved from the ancient Latin word assilire, which means "to jump on." So picture an attacker jumping on you, throwing punches and maybe some insults, too. Because assail also means to ridicule or heap your worries upon someone. As novelist Charlotte Bronte noted, “Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion. To attack the first is not to assail the last.” Think on that.

DEFINITIONS OF: assail

1

v attack someone physically or emotionally

“Nightmares assailed him regularly”
Synonyms:
assault, attack, set on
Types:
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bait
attack with dogs or set dogs upon
set, sic
urge to attack someone
bulldog
attack viciously and ferociously
rush
attack suddenly
blindside
attack or hit on or from the side where the attacked person's view is obstructed
savage
attack brutally and fiercely
reassail
assail again
jump
make a sudden physical attack on
beset, set upon
assail or attack on all sides: "The zebra was beset by leopards"
assault, dishonor, dishonour, outrage, rape, ravish, violate
force (someone) to have sex against their will
desecrate, outrage, profane, violate
violate the sacred character of a place or language
molest
harass or assault sexually; make indecent advances to
bear down, charge
to make a rush at or sudden attack upon, as in battle
gang-rape
rape (someone) successively with several attackers

v attack in speech or writing

Synonyms:
assault, attack, lash out, round, snipe
Types:
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abuse, blackguard, clapperclaw, shout
use foul or abusive language towards
claw
attack as if with claws
vitriol
subject to bitter verbal abuse
rip
criticize or abuse strongly and violently
whang
attack forcefully
barrage, bombard
address with continuously or persistently, as if with a barrage
blister, scald, whip
subject to harsh criticism
rubbish
attack strongly
slang
abuse with coarse language
rail, revile, vilify, vituperate
spread negative information about
curse
heap obscenities upon
Type of:
criticise, criticize, knock, pick apart
find fault with; express criticism of; point out real or perceived flaws

v launch an attack or assault on; begin hostilities or start warfare with

“Serbian forces assailed Bosnian towns all week”
Synonyms:
attack
aggress, attack
take the initiative and go on the offensive
Antonyms:
defend
be on the defensive; act against an attack
Types:
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submarine
attack by submarine
pelt, pepper
attack and bombard with or as if with missiles
hit, strike
make a strategic, offensive, assault against an enemy, opponent, or a target
counterattack, counterstrike
make a counterattack
gas
attack with gas; subject to gas fumes
storm, surprise
attack by storm; attack suddenly
blitz
attack suddenly and without warning
invade, occupy
march aggressively into another's territory by military force for the purposes of conquest and occupation
beleaguer, besiege, circumvent, hem in, surround
surround so as to force to give up
bomb, bombard
throw bombs at or attack with bombs
strafe
attack with machine guns or cannon fire from a low-flying plane
cannonade
attack with cannons or artillery
torpedo
attack or hit with torpedoes
bust, raid
search without warning, make a sudden surprise attack on
slice
hit a ball so that it causes a backspin
chop
hit sharply
stroke
strike a ball with a smooth blow
teargas
attack with teargas; subject to teargas fumes
blockade, seal off
impose a blockade on
ebb
hem in fish with stakes and nets so as to prevent them from going back into the sea with the ebb
carpet bomb
bomb a large area systematically and extensively
bomb out
make somebody homeless by destroying their houses with bombs
dive-bomb
bomb from a diving airplane
glide-bomb
bomb by gliding
skip-bomb
attack with delayed release bombs
atom-bomb, nuke
bomb with atomic weapons
hydrogen-bomb
attack with a hydrogen bomb
pattern-bomb
bomb in certain patterns
atomise, atomize, nuke, zap
strike at with firepower or bombs
letter bomb
send an explosive to
firebomb
attack with incendiary bombs
blast, shell
use explosives on
retaliate, strike back
make a counterattack and return like for like, especially evil for evil
infest, overrun
invade in great numbers
Type of:
contend, fight, struggle
be engaged in a fight; carry on a fight
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