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1 definition found

From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 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.