- The definition of an assault is an act that causes verbal or physical injury.
Rape is an example of assault.
- To assault is defined as to cause harm to someone, to threaten harm, or to try and cause harm.
Holding a gun on someone is an example of assault.
- a violent attack, either physical or verbal
- Law an unlawful threat or unsuccessful attempt to do physical harm to another, causing a present fear of immediate harm
- a sudden attack upon a fortified place
- the close-combat phase of an attack
Origin of assaultMiddle English assaut from Old French assaut, assalt from Vulgar Latin an unverified form assaltus from assalire: see assail
- 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.
- 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.
- A rigorous or energetic effort to accomplish something difficult: an assault on the mountain's summit; an assault on poverty.
verbas·sault·ed, as·sault·ing, as·saults
- To make a violent assault upon; attack. See Synonyms at attack.
- To rape.
- To attack verbally; criticize or denounce.
- To harass or beset: assaulted by advertisements.
Origin of assaultMiddle English assaut from Old French from Vulgar Latin assaltus variant of Latin assultus from past participle of assilīre to jump on ; see assail .
- A violent onset or attack with physical means, as blows, weapons, etc.; an onslaught; the rush or charge of an attacking force; onset; as, to make assault upon a man, a house, or a town.
- A violent onset or attack with moral weapons, as words, arguments, appeals, and the like; as, to make an assault on the prerogatives of a prince, or on the constitution of a government.
- (criminal, law) An attempt to commit battery: a violent attempt, or willful effort with force or violence, to do hurt to another, but without necessarily touching his person, as by lifting a fist in a threatening manner, or by striking at him and missing him.
- (singular only, law) The crime whose action is such an attempt.
- (tort law) An act that causes someone to apprehend imminent bodily harm.
- (singular only, law) The tort whose action is such an act.
- (fencing) A non-competitive combat between two fencers.
(third-person singular simple present assaults, present participle assaulting, simple past and past participle assaulted)
assault - Legal Definition
- In criminal and tort law, an act, usually consisting of a threat or attempt to inflict bodily injury upon another person, coupled with the apparent present ability to succeed in carrying out the threat or the attempt if not prevented, that causes the person to have a reasonable fear or apprehension of immediate harmful or offensive contact. No intent to cause battery or the fear or apprehension is required so long as the victim is placed in reasonable apprehension or fear. No actual physical injury is needed to establish an assault, but if there is any physical contact, the act constitutes both an assault and a battery.
- In criminal law, in some states, the term includes battery and attempted battery.
- Any attack .
- The act of inflicting bodily injury upon another. See also mayhem.
- Any sexual contact with another person without the other’s consent or when the other lacks the capacity to give legally effective consent.