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a. A violent physical attack, as with blows.
b. A strong or cutting verbal attack.
a. A military attack, such as one launched against a fortified area or place.
b. The concluding stage of an attack in which close combat occurs with the enemy.
3. Law
a. An unlawful threat or attempt to do bodily injury to another.
b. The act or an instance of unlawfully threatening or attempting to injure another.
a. Sexual assault.
b. The crime of rape.
5. A rigorous or energetic effort to accomplish something difficult: an assault on the mountain's summit; an assault on poverty.
v. as·sault·ed, as·sault·ing, as·saults
1. To make a violent assault upon; attack. See Synonyms at attack.
2. To rape.
3. To attack verbally; criticize or denounce.
4. To harass or beset: assaulted by advertisements.
To make an assault.

[Middle English assaut, from Old French, from Vulgar Latin *assaltus, variant of Latin assultus, from past participle of assilīre, to jump on; see assail.]

as·sault′er n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.assaulter - someone who attacksassaulter - someone who attacks      
offender, wrongdoer - a person who transgresses moral or civil law
ambusher - an attacker who waits in a concealed position to launch a surprise attack
avenger, retaliator - someone who takes vengeance
brute, savage, wildcat, beast, wolf - a cruelly rapacious person
bludgeoner - an assailant who uses a bludgeon
bully, hooligan, roughneck, rowdy, ruffian, yob, yobbo, yobo, tough - a cruel and brutal fellow
harrier, harasser - a persistent attacker; "the harassers were not members of the regular army"
iconoclast - someone who attacks cherished ideas or traditional institutions
marauder, piranha, predator, vulture - someone who attacks in search of booty
night rider, nightrider - member of a secret mounted band in United States South after the American Civil War; committed acts of intimidation and revenge
shedder, spiller - an attacker who sheds or spills blood; "a great hunter and spiller of blood"
slasher - someone who slashes another person
stabber - someone who stabs another person
lapidator, stoner - an attacker who pelts the victim with stones (especially with intent to kill)
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


One who starts a hostile action:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
Evidently disheartened by the failure of their first attempt the assaulters drew off, but only for a short time.
The Filipinas followed the men and called out to pedestrians to help them catch the assaulter, till an African bystander restrained the man.
Viewers then used the internet to search for the identity of the assaulter whom they believe to be a 'Datuk' directors of a local investment company specialising in telecommunications.
"But on the other hand you see someone who is an admitted sexual assaulter, an obvious liar and clear misogynist getting elected to the highest office in the country.
She appealed to higher police officials to take action against the brutality of the assaulter who kept abusing her daughter-in-law in the absence of her husband.
The victim's mother told the police that she had married her daughter to the assaulter's son about 15 years ago.
He said the assaulter was a local resident and he was shifted to an undisclosed location for further interrogation.
Furthermore, some go as far as saying that the behavior of the assaulter is excusable.
Society has created a negative image for those who come forward after being sexually abused, especially if the assaulter held some position of power.
She cited an example of Iran where last year a seven-year-old Atena Aslani was assaulted, killed, dumped and the Iranian government openly hanged the assaulter in front of a large crowd and since then no such case has been reported.
"It's important that we not just focus on him and whatever consequences flow from these stories about his behaviour but that we recognise this kind of behaviour cannot be tolerated anywhere, whether it's in entertainment, politics," she said, adding: "After all we have someone admitting to be a sexual assaulter in the Oval Office."
According to the three victims, their assaulter threatened to beat and murder them if they were to inform others.