American English

Definition of assail verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    (formal)Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they assail
    he / she / it assails
    past simple assailed
    -ing form assailing
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  1. 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. 2[usually passive] assail somebody to disturb or upset someone severely to be assailed by worries/doubts/fears
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: assail