- 1assail somebody/something to attack someone or something violently, either physically or with words He was assailed with fierce blows to the head. The proposal was assailed by the opposition party. (figurative) A vile smell assailed my nostrils.
- 2[usually passive] assail somebody to disturb or upset someone severely to be assailed by worries/doubts/fears
NAmE//əˈseɪl//(formal)Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they assail
he / she / it assails
past simple assailed
-ing form assailing