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[on-slawt, awn-] /ˈɒnˌslɔt, ˈɔn-/
an onset, assault, or attack, especially a vigorous one.
Origin of onslaught
1615-25; < Dutch aanslag a striking, (earlier) attack (equivalent to aan on + slag blow, stroke; akin to slay), with assimilation to obsolete slaught slaughter Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for onslaught
  • His cellular plan included unlimited text messages, so the onslaught did not run up his bill.
  • Several property and casualty insurers collapsed under the onslaught of claims.
  • Such a movie might suggest ways to protect the solid from the neutron onslaught.
  • And don't think that the ocean is off limits to gravity's onslaught.
  • But since the news broke several weeks ago, it has prompted an onslaught of media attention.
  • One theory blames oxidative stress, caused by the onslaught of nasty molecules known as free radicals.
  • The tourism dollars are a boon to the region's economy, but an onslaught of snorkelers and divers has taken a damaging toll.
  • Let's talk about a few of those to help prepare our listeners for the coming holiday and/or family onslaught.
  • The onslaught grew so large that it went viral-live.
  • Neither the traditions, nor the species may persist when challenged with the onslaught of industrial development.
British Dictionary definitions for onslaught


a violent attack
Word Origin
C17: from Middle Dutch aenslag, from aanon + slag a blow, related to slay
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 onslaught

1620s, anslaight, somehow from or on analogy of Dutch aanslag "attack," from Middle Dutch aenslach, from aen "on" (see on) + slach "blow," related to slaen "slay." Spelling influenced by obsolete (since c.1400) English slaught (n.) "slaughter," from Old English sleaht (see slaughter (n.)). No record of its use in 18c.; apparently revived by Scott.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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