Definitions

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

  • n. A violent attack.
  • n. An overwhelming outpouring: an onslaught of third-class mail.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A fierce attack.
  • n. A large quantity of people or things resembling an attack.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An attack; an onset; esp., a furious or murderous attack or assault.
  • n. A bloody fray or battle.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Attack; onset; aggression; assault; an inroad; an incursion; a bloody attack.
  • n. Synonyms Assault, etc. See onset.

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

  • n. the rapid and continuous delivery of linguistic communication (spoken or written)
  • n. (military) an offensive against an enemy (using weapons)
  • n. a sudden and severe onset of trouble

Etymologies

Alteration (influenced by obsolete slaughte, slaughter) of Dutch aanslag, a striking at, from Middle Dutch aenslach : aen-, on; + slach, a striking.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From anslaight (compare Dutch aanslag and German Anschlag), equivalent to on- +‎ slaught. (Wiktionary)

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