Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

assault - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

noun     assault pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
  1. 1
    [countable/uncountable] a physical attack on someone, or the crime of physically attacking someone

    an assault on a young student

    He was charged with assault.

    guilty of indecent assault

  2. 2
    [countable] an attack by the armed forces

    a NATO air assault

    assault on:

    the assault on Pohang-dong

  3. 3
    [countable] a strong criticism

    The article was a vicious assault on Bell’s integrity.

  4. 4
    [countable] formal a serious attempt to achieve something difficult

deep learning

a form of machine learning which incorporates the use of neural networks

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

snap election

a general election … that is called earlier than expected

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play