Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A violent physical or verbal attack.
  • n. A military attack, such as one launched against a fortified area or place.
  • n. The concluding stage of an attack in which close combat occurs with the enemy.
  • n. Law An unlawful threat or attempt to do bodily injury to another.
  • n. Law The act or an instance of unlawfully threatening or attempting to injure another.
  • n. Law Sexual assault.
  • n. The crime of rape.
  • transitive v. To make an assault upon; attack. See Synonyms at attack.
  • transitive v. To rape.
  • intransitive v. To make an assault.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. 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.
  • n. 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.
  • n. An attempt to commit battery: a violent attempt, or willful effort with force or violence, to do hurt to another, but without necessarily touching his person, as by lifting a fist in a threatening manner, or by striking at him and missing him.
  • n. The crime whose action is such an attempt.
  • n. An act that causes someone to apprehend imminent bodily harm.
  • n. The tort whose action is such an act.
  • n. A non-competitive combat between two fencers.
  • v. To attack, threaten or harass.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A violent onset or attack with physical means, as blows, weapons, etc.; an onslaught; the rush or charge of an attacking force; onset.
  • n. A violent onset or attack with moral weapons, as words, arguments, appeals, and the like.
  • n. 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.
  • transitive v. To make an assault upon, as by a sudden rush of armed men; to attack with unlawful or insulting physical violence or menaces.
  • transitive v. To attack with moral means, or with a view of producing moral effects; to attack by words, arguments, or unfriendly measures; to assail.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To attack by physical means; fall upon with violence or with a hostile intention: as, to assault a man, a house, a town.
  • Specifically In law, to attempt or offer to do violence to another, with present ability to accomplish it. See assault, n., 2.
  • To attack with other than physical force; assail with arguments, complaints, hostile words, etc.
  • Synonyms Attack, Set upon, etc. (see assail); to storm. See attack.
  • n. An attack or violent onset with physical means; an onslaught; especially, a sudden and vigorous attack on a fortified post.
  • n. Specifically In law, an unlawful attack upon the person of another; an attempt or offer to do violence to another, coupled with present ability to effect it, but irrespective of whether the person is touched or not, as by lifting the fist or a cane in a threatening manner.
  • n. An attack with other than physical force, as by means of legislative measures, by arguments, invective, appeals, etc.: as, an assault upon the constitution of government; an assault upon one's reputation.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a threatened or attempted physical attack by someone who appears to be able to cause bodily harm if not stopped
  • v. force (someone) to have sex against their will
  • n. thoroughbred that won the triple crown in 1946
  • v. attack someone physically or emotionally
  • v. attack in speech or writing
  • n. close fighting during the culmination of a military attack
  • n. the crime of forcing a woman to submit to sexual intercourse against her will

Etymologies

Middle English assaut, from Old French, from Vulgar Latin *assaltus, variant of Latin assultus, from past participle of assilīre, to jump on; see assail.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French noun asault, from the verb asaillir, from Latin assiliō, from ad ("towards") + saliō ("to jump"). See also assail. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • This renewel of the Palin assault is not for entertainment.

    Fey likely to revive Palin impersonation

  • The term assault weapons was coined to deliberately invoke assault rifles.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Cato brief in McDonald v. Chicago

  • The group decries the name "assault weapon" and refers to high-powered guns as "modern sporting rifles."

    chron.com Chronicle

  • Despite being impressed with City's performances this year - they beat Tottenham 5-1 at White Hart Lane in August - van der Vaart does think the wheels could come off their title assault due to the big egos in the City dressing room.

    Evening Standard - Home

  • Secondly, the term assault rifle is a lable made up by the gun ban crowd and intended to make people think that semi-automatic rifles are just as dangerous as fully automatic military weapons and to confuse the two making it seem unreasonable that civilians should own them when actually they operate in the same manner as semi automatic shotguns and hunting rifles that Americans have owned since their invention over a hundred years ago.

    msnbc.com: Top msnbc.com headlines

  • In only his second full season of Supersport racing, Herfoss had a near-perfect start to his title assault with a close third in the opening race, backed up with a dominant win in race two.

    Roadracingworld.com

  • Just so you know, the term assault weapon or assault rifle is a legal term used to describe a variety of semi-automatic firearms that have certain features generally associated with military assault rifles.

    The Daily News - News

  • The term assault weapon, invented by the Brady Campaign, is a smokescreen, routinely spread by the media, to denigrate firearms and the great American traditions that have kept this nation free.

    MND: Your Daily Dose of Counter-Theory

  • From the background I heard the term assault (a term I heard numerous times that day).

    The Minnesota Daily - mndaily.com

  • The term assault weapon does not mean the same as assault rifle.

    Think Progress

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.