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3 definitions found
 for Assail
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Assail \As*sail"\ ([a^]s*s[=a]l"), v. t. [imp. & p. p.
     Assailed (-s[=a]ld"); p. pr. & vb. n. Assailing.] [OE.
     assailen, asailen, OF. asaillir, assailler, F. assaillir; a
     (L. ad) + saillir to burst out, project, fr. L. salire to
     leap, spring; cf. L. assilire to leap or spring upon. See
     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.
        [1913 Webster]
              No rude noise mine ears assailing.    --Cowper.
        [1913 Webster]
              No storm can now assail
              The charm he wears within.            --Keble.
        [1913 Webster]
     2. To encounter or meet purposely with the view of mastering,
        as an obstacle, difficulty, or the like.
        [1913 Webster]
              The thorny wilds the woodmen fierce assail. --Pope.
        [1913 Webster]
     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.
        [1913 Webster]
              The papal authority . . . assailed.   --Hallam.
        [1913 Webster]
              They assailed him with keen invective; they assailed
              him with still keener irony.          --Macaulay.
        [1913 Webster]
     Syn: To attack; assault; invade; encounter; fall upon. See
          [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

      v 1: attack someone physically or emotionally; "The mugger
           assaulted the woman"; "Nightmares assailed him regularly"
           [syn: assail, 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, assail] [ant: defend]
      3: attack in speech or writing; "The editors of the left-leaning
         paper attacked the new House Speaker" [syn: attack,
         round, assail, lash out, snipe, assault]

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  60 Moby Thesaurus words for "assail":
     ambush, assault, attack, blister, blitz, bushwhack, castigate,
     censure, come at, come down on, crack down on, criminate,
     cry out against, cry out on, cry shame upon, descend on,
     descend upon, excoriate, fall on, fall upon, flay, fustigate,
     gang up on, go at, go for, harry, have at, hit, hit like lightning,
     implicate, impugn, incriminate, inculpate, involve, jump, land on,
     lash, lay at, lay hands on, lay into, light into, mug, pitch into,
     pounce upon, pound, roast, sail into, scarify, scathe, scorch,
     set on, set upon, skin alive, slash, strike, surprise,
     swoop down on, take the offensive, trounce, wade into

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