ASSAULT', noun [Latin assulto, of ad and salto, to leap, formed on salio, or its root. See Assail. We have the same root in insult and result.]
1. An attack or violent onset, whether by an individual, a company, or an army. An assault by private persons may be made with or without weapons. As assault by an army is a violent hostile attack; and when made upon a fort or fortified place is called a storm, as opposed to sap or siege.
2. An attack by hostile words or measures; as, an assault upon the prerogatives of a prince, or upon a constitution of government.
3. In Law, an unlawful setting upon one's person; an attempt or offer to beat another, without touching his person; as by lifting the fist or a cane, in a threatening manner. If the blow aimed takes effect, it is a battery.
ASSAULT', verb transitive
1. To attack or fall upon by violence, or with a hostile intention; as, to assault a man, a house or town.
2. To invade or fall on with force; as, the cry of war assaults our ears.
3. To attack by words, arguments or unfriendly measures, with a view to shake, impair or overthrow; as, to assault a character, the laws or the administration.