to attack vigorously or violently; assault.
to attack with arguments, criticism, ridicule, abuse, etc.:
to assail one’s opponent with slander.
to undertake with the purpose of mastering:
He assailed his studies with new determination.
to impinge upon; make an impact on; beset:
His mind was assailed by conflicting arguments. The light assailed their eyes.
Historical Examples

As for the men, they twisted every item about Gourlay and his domicile into fresh matter of assailment.
The House with the Green Shutters George Douglas Brown

Was he not member, duly elected, without possibility of assailment in his legal right?
Annie Besant Annie Besant

Franklin sat by the side of Jefferson, as the admirable document was subjected to this assailment.
Benjamin Franklin, A Picture of the Struggles of Our Infant Nation One Hundred Years Ago John S. C. Abbott

verb (transitive)
to attack violently; assault
to criticize or ridicule vehemently, as in argument
to beset or disturb: his mind was assailed by doubts
to encounter with the intention of mastering: to assail a problem, to assail a difficult mountain ridge

c.1200, from Old French assalir “attack, assault, assail” (12c., Modern French assaillir), from Vulgar Latin *adsalire “to leap at,” from Latin ad- “at” (see ad-) + salire “to leap” (see salient (adj.)). Figurative use from mid-14c. Related: Assailed; assailing; assailable.

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