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 assault. (Prescott) Unshaken bears the assault Of their most dreaded foe, the strong southwest. (Wordsworth)
3. 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. Practically, however, the word assault is used to include the battery. (Mozley & W)
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 administration. Before the gates, the cries of babes newborn, . . . Assault his ears. (Dryden)
Origin: From assault,: cf. OF. Assaulter, LL. Assaltare.