assailing

1 definition found

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:

Assail \As*sail"\ ([a^]s*s[=a]l"), verb (used with an object) [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 {Sally}.]

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}.


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