Definition of onslaught in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈänˌslôt/
Pronunciation: /ˈônˌslôt/


1A fierce or destructive attack: a series of onslaughts on the citadel
More example sentences
  • From time immemorial there have been friendly migrations and unfriendly onslaughts on the Kerala society, mostly through the sea.
  • Sabotage could range from pinprick attacks on individual weapons or machines to full-scale onslaughts on formed bodies of troops.
  • For 15 minutes they made repeated onslaughts on the Ardclough defence and looked particularly dangerous on the right wing where Timmy Comerford and David Slattery were on constant prowl.
assault, attack, offensive, advance, charge, onrush, rush, storming, sortie, sally, raid, descent, incursion, invasion, foray, push, thrust, drive, blitz, bombardment, barrage, salvo
historical broadside
1.1A large quantity of people or things that is difficult to cope with: an onslaught of electronic mail
More example sentences
  • The reactions of Nature as a result of its exposure to the onslaughts of human societies have become more important in determining the fate of the human species than any harm it can inflict on itself.
  • Steady onslaughts of slick visuals and hyped-up soundtracks are routine: another day, another few hundred commercials.
  • Yet he also believes that the relentless media onslaught of ‘perfect’ male images has contributed.


Early 17th century (also in the form anslaight): from Middle Dutch aenslag, from aen 'on' + slag 'blow'. The change in the ending was due to association with (now obsolete) slaught 'slaughter'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: on·slaught

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