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- (transitive) To attack with harsh words or violent force.
- Muggers assailed them as they entered an alley.
- 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Qveene. […], London: Printed [by John Wolfe] for VVilliam Ponsonbie, OCLC 960102938, book I, canto VI, page 76:
- So when he ſaw his flatt’ring artes to ſayle, / And ſubtile engines bett from batteree, / With greedy force he gan the fort aſſayle, / Whereof he weend poſſeſe ſoone to bee / And win rich ſpoile of ranſackt chaſtitee.
- 1897, Saki [Hector Hugh Munro], “The Storyteller”:
- For the next six months or so those children will assail her in public with demands for an improper story!
to attack violently