As*sault" (?), n. [OE. asaut,
assaut, OF. assaut, asalt, F. assaut, LL.
assaltus; L. ad + saltus a leaping, a springing,
salire to leap. See Assail.] 1. A
violent onset or attack with physical means, as blows, weapons, etc.; an
onslaught; the rush or charge of an attacking force; onset; as, to make
assault upon a man, a house, or a town.
The Spanish general prepared to renew the
Unshaken bears the assault
Of their most dreaded foe, the strong southwest.
2. A violent onset or attack with moral weapons, as
words, arguments, appeals, and the like; as, to make an assault on
the prerogatives of a prince, or on the constitution of a government.
3. (Law) An apparently violent attempt, or
willful offer with force or violence, to do hurt to another; an attempt or
offer to beat another, accompanied by a degree of violence, but without
touching his person, as by lifting the fist, or a cane, in a threatening
manner, or by striking at him, and missing him. If the blow aimed takes
effect, it is a battery. Blackstone. Wharton.
Practically, however, the word assault is used to
include the battery.
Mozley & W.
Syn. -- Attack; invasion; incursion; descent; onset; onslaught;
As*sault", v. t. [imp. & p.
p. Assaulted; p. pr. & vb. n.
Assaulting.] [From Assault, n.: cf. OF.
assaulter, LL. assaltare.] 1. To make an
assault upon, as by a sudden rush of armed men; to attack with unlawful or
insulting physical violence or menaces.
Insnared, assaulted, overcome, led bound.
2. To attack with moral means, or with a view of
producing moral effects; to attack by words, arguments, or unfriendly
measures; to assail; as, to assault a reputation or an
Before the gates, the cries of babes newborn, . . .
Assault his ears.
☞ In the latter sense, assail is more common.
Syn. -- To attack; assail; invade; encounter; storm; charge. See