tr.v. as·sailed, as·sail·ing, as·sails
1. To attack violently, as with blows or military force; assault.
2. To attack verbally, as with ridicule or censure. See Synonyms at attack.
3. To trouble or beset, as with questions or doubts.
[Middle English assailen, from Old French asalir, asaill-, from Vulgar Latin *assalīre, variant of Latin assilīre, to jump on : ad-, onto; see AD- + salīre, to jump; see sel- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
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Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.