As·sail v. t. [imp. & p. p. Assailed p. pr. & vb. n. Assailing.]
1. To attack with violence, or in a vehement and hostile manner; to assault; to molest; as, to assail a man with blows; to assail a city with artillery.
No rude noise mine ears assailing. --Cowper.
No storm can now assail
The charm he wears within. --Keble.
2. To encounter or meet purposely with the view of mastering, as an obstacle, difficulty, or the like.
The thorny wilds the woodmen fierce assail. --Pope.
3. To attack morally, or with a view to produce changes in the feelings, character, conduct, existing usages, institutions; to attack by words, hostile influence, etc.; as, to assail one with appeals, arguments, abuse, ridicule, and the like.
The papal authority . . . assailed. --Hallam.
They assailed him with keen invective; they assailed him with still keener irony. --Macaulay.
Syn: -- To attack; assault; invade; encounter; fall upon. See Attack.
v 1: attack someone physically or emotionally; "The mugger
assaulted the woman"; "Nightmares assailed him
regularly" [syn: assault, set on, attack]
2: launch an attack or assault on; begin hostilities or start
warfare with; "Hitler attacked Poland on September 1, 1939
and started World War II"; "Serbian forces assailed
Bosnian towns all week" [syn: attack] [ant: defend]
3: attack in speech or writing; "The editors of the
left-leaning paper attacked the new House Speaker" [syn: attack,
round, lash out, snipe, assault]