What does assault mean?

Definitions for assault

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word assault.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. assaultnoun

    close fighting during the culmination of a military attack

  2. assaultnoun

    a threatened or attempted physical attack by someone who appears to be able to cause bodily harm if not stopped

  3. Assaultnoun

    thoroughbred that won the triple crown in 1946

  4. rape, violation, assault, ravishmentverb

    the crime of forcing a woman to submit to sexual intercourse against her will

  5. assail, assault, set on, attackverb

    attack someone physically or emotionally

    "The mugger assaulted the woman"; "Nightmares assailed him regularly"

  6. rape, ravish, violate, assault, dishonor, dishonour, outrageverb

    force (someone) to have sex against their will

    "The woman was raped on her way home at night"

  7. attack, round, assail, lash out, snipe, assaultverb

    attack in speech or writing

    "The editors of the left-leaning paper attacked the new House Speaker"


  1. assaultnoun

    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.

  2. assaultnoun

    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. assaultnoun

    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.

  4. assaultnoun

    The crime whose action is such an attempt.

  5. assaultnoun

    An act that causes someone to apprehend imminent bodily harm.

  6. assaultnoun

    The tort whose action is such an act.

  7. assaultnoun

    A non-competitive combat between two fencers.

  8. assaultverb

    To attack, threaten or harass.

  9. Etymology: From noun asault, from the verb asaillir, from assilio, from ad + salio. See also assail.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. ASSAULTnoun

    Etymology: assault, French.

    Her spirit had been invincible against all assaults of affection. William Shakespeare, Much ado about Nothing.

    Not to be shook thyself, but all assaults
    Baffling, like thy hoar cliffs the loud sea wave. James Thomson.

    Jason took at least a thousand men, and suddenly made an assault upon the city. 2 Macc. v. 5.

    After some days siege, he resolved to try the fortune of an assault; he succeeded therein so far, that he had taken the principal tower and fort. Francis Bacon, Henry VII.

    Themselves at discord fell,
    And cruel combat join’d in middle space,
    With horrible assault, and fury fell. Fairy Queen, b. ii.

    After some unhappy assaults upon the prerogative by the parliament, which produced its dissolution, there followed a composure. Edward Hyde.

    Theories built upon narrow foundations, are very hard to be supported against the assaults of opposition. John Locke.

  2. To Assaultverb

    To attack; to invade; to fall upon with violence.

    Etymology: from the noun.

    The king granted the Jews to gather themselves together, and to stand for their life, to destroy all the power that would assault them. Esth. viii. 11.

    Before the gates the cries of babes new-born,
    Whom fate had from their tender mothers torn,
    Assault his ears. John Dryden, Æneid vi.

    Curs’d steel, and more accursed gold,
    Gave mischief birth, and made that mischief bold:
    And double death did wretched man invade,
    By steel assaulted, and by gold betray’d. John Dryden, Ovid.


  1. assault

    Assault is a criminal act that involves intentionally causing harm, threatening, or attempting to cause physical injury to another person. This may involve actual bodily harm or just the threat of harm, causing the victim to fear for their safety. The specific definitions and punishments for assault can vary depending on jurisdiction.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Assaultnoun

    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

  2. Assaultnoun

    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. Assaultnoun

    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

  4. Assaultnoun

    to make an assault upon, as by a sudden rush of armed men; to attack with unlawful or insulting physical violence or menaces

  5. Assaultnoun

    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 administration


  1. Assault

    At Common Law, an intentional act by one person that creates an apprehension in another of an imminent harmful or offensive contact. An assault is carried out by a threat of bodily harm coupled with an apparent, present ability to cause the harm. It is both a crime and a tort and, therefore, may result in either criminal or civil liability. Generally, the common law definition is the same in criminal and Tort Law. There is, however, an additional Criminal Law category of assault consisting of an attempted but unsuccessful Battery. The term is often confused with battery, which involves physical contact. The specific meaning of assault varies between countries, but can refer to an act that causes another to apprehend immediate and personal violence, or in the more limited sense of a threat of violence caused by an immediate show of force. Assault in some US jurisdictions and Scotland is defined more broadly still as any intentional physical contact with another person without their consent; but in the majority of the United States, and in England and Wales and all other common law jurisdictions in the world, this is defined instead as battery. Some jurisdictions have incorporated the definition of civil assault into the definition of the crime making it a criminal assault to intentionally cause another person to apprehend a harmful or offensive contact.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Assault

    as-sawlt′, n. a sudden attack: a storming, as of a town: (Eng. law) unlawful attempt to apply force to the person of another—when force is actually applied, the act amounts to battery: an attack of any sort by arguments, appeals, &c.—v.t. to make an assault or attack upon: (law) to make an assault.—n. Assault′er.—Assault at arms, a display of attack and defence in fencing. [O. Fr. asaut—L. ad, upon, saltus, a leap, salīre, to leap. See Assail.]

Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms

  1. assault

    1. The climax of an attack, closing with the enemy in hand-to-hand fighting. 2. In an amphibious operation, the period of time between the arrival of the major assault forces of the amphibious task force in the objective area and the accomplishment of the amphibious task force mission. 3. To make a short, violent, but well-ordered attack against a local objective, such as a gun emplacement, a fort, or a machine gun nest. 4. A phase of an airborne operation beginning with delivery by air of the assault echelon of the force into the objective area and extending through attack of assault objectives and consolidation of the initial airhead. See also assault phase.

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. assault

    A hostile attack. The effort to storm a place, and gain possession of a post by main force.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. assault

    A furious but regulated effort to carry a fortified post, camp, or fortress by personal attack, uncovered and unsupported. While an assault during a siege continues, the batteries of the besiegers cease, lest the attacking party should be injured. The party which leads the assault is sometimes called “the forlorn hope.”

Suggested Resources

  1. assault

    Song lyrics by assault -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by assault on the Lyrics.com website.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'assault' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #4158

  2. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'assault' in Nouns Frequency: #1536

How to pronounce assault?

How to say assault in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of assault in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of assault in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Examples of assault in a Sentence

  1. Johnson Hostler:

    I've had a lot of our members, especially sexual assault survivors, emailing me, asking if this is going to distract from the broader, bigger problem of sexual assault on campus, they're worried that fallout from one story is going to give people a reason to believe campus sexual assault isn't a real problem or it's been overhyped.

  2. Jake Wark:

    We expect to select a new court date in the coming days and then set the amended trial track. The Suffolk indictments allege two counts of first-degree murder for the July 16, 2012, shooting deaths of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado in Boston's South End; three counts of armed assault with intent to murder and one count of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon for shots fired at three surviving victims; and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm.

  3. The Waco Tribune-Herald:

    Acts of sexual violence contradict every value Baylor University upholds as a caring Christian community. In recent years we have joined university efforts nationally to prevent campus violence against women and sexual assault, to actively support survivors of sexual assault with compassion and care, and to take action against perpetrators. We have established and fully staffed a Title IX office that employs a Title IX Coordinator and two full-time investigators. Maintaining a safe and caring community is central to Baylor's mission and at the heart of our commitment to our students, faculty and staff.

  4. Billy Madison:

    Billy Hey I'm trying to score points with the teacher today. DON'T SCREW IT UP. 3rd Grader I dare you to touch her boobs. Billy Touch her boobs That's assault brotha...... Ya double dare me

  5. Mark Twain:

    Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand.

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Translations for assault

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"assault." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 10 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/assault>.

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