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[uh-sey-luh nt] /əˈseɪ lənt/
a person who attacks.
Archaic. assailing; attacking; hostile.
Origin of assailant
1525-35; < Middle French assaillant. See assail, -ant Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for assailant
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • His wounds were dressed and the authorities notified to arrest his assailant.

    The Eagle's Heart Hamlin Garland
  • If Ernest has his assailant's shirt-front, what more likely than that his assailant has Ernest's?

  • The door was opened hastily by Liffie Lee, who, being a much lighter weight than her assailant, went down before her rush.

    The Young Trawler R.M. Ballantyne
  • Notwithstanding this, he made sure of his assailant, and held him in an iron grasp.

    Under Fire Frank A. Munsey
  • Suddenly springing upon his assailant, he bore him to the ground, and held him there.

    The Boat Club Oliver Optic
British Dictionary definitions for assailant


a person who attacks another, either physically or verbally: he was unable to recognize his assailants
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for assailant

1530s, from French assailant, noun use of present participle of assailir (see assail). Earlier in same sense was assailer (c.1400).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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