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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce onslaught (audio)

Dictionary definition of onslaught

A powerful and forceful attack or assault, typically carried out with great intensity and determination.
"The company faced an onslaught of negative reviews after a product malfunction."

Detailed meaning of onslaught

It can manifest in various forms, such as physical, verbal, or metaphorical, and is characterized by an overwhelming and relentless surge of force or energy. When an onslaught occurs, it engulfs its target, overwhelming defenses and leaving little room for escape or recovery. This noun encapsulates the idea of a relentless and overpowering assault, often resulting in a swift and decisive victory for the attacking party. The term conveys a sense of aggression, ferocity, and the sheer magnitude of the force being unleashed, creating an atmosphere of chaos and urgency. Whether in the context of warfare, sports, debates, or even natural disasters, an onslaught represents a formidable and unyielding offensive effort aimed at overpowering and subduing the opposition.

Example sentences containing onslaught

1. The enemy launched a fierce onslaught, overwhelming our defenses within minutes.
2. The boxer unleashed an onslaught of punches, leaving his opponent dazed and helpless.
3. The team's offense mounted a relentless onslaught, scoring goal after goal.
4. The city was caught off guard by the sudden onslaught of heavy rainfall, causing severe flooding.
5. The political candidate faced an onslaught of criticism from rival candidates during the debate.
6. The teacher prepared her students for the onslaught of exams that awaited them.

History and etymology of onslaught

The noun 'onslaught' has its origins in the Old English word 'aneslæht,' which is a combination of 'an,' meaning 'on,' and 'sleht,' meaning 'stroke' or 'blow.' In its earliest usage, 'aneslæht' referred to a single, forceful blow or stroke, often in a physical combat context. Over time, the term evolved to describe a powerful and forceful attack or assault carried out with great intensity and determination. The modern sense of 'onslaught' conveys not only the idea of a vigorous assault but also the notion of a relentless and overwhelming offensive action. Thus, the etymology of 'onslaught' highlights its historical association with the forceful striking of a single blow and its subsequent expansion to describe a formidable and determined attack.

Quiz: Find the meaning of onslaught

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Further usage examples of onslaught

1. The protesters braced themselves for the police's onslaught of tear gas and rubber bullets.
2. The village was devastated by the onslaught of a powerful tornado, leaving behind a trail of destruction.
3. The online store experienced an onslaught of orders during the holiday season, straining their fulfillment capacity.
4. The restaurant staff struggled to keep up with the onslaught of hungry customers during the lunch rush.
5. The castle's defenders valiantly fought against the enemy's relentless onslaught.
6. The politician's reputation was tarnished by the media's onslaught of scandalous accusations.
7. The wildlife sanctuary faced an onslaught of poachers, endangering the rare species it aimed to protect.
8. The social media influencer endured an onslaught of hateful comments and online harassment.
9. The sudden onslaught of the storm caught everyone by surprise.
10. The army launched a relentless onslaught against the enemy.
11. The onslaught of criticism did not deter her from pursuing her goals.
12. The onslaught of emails in my inbox is overwhelming.
13. In the video game, we faced an onslaught of enemy forces.
14. The news of the economic downturn brought an onslaught of layoffs.
15. The protesters faced an onslaught of tear gas and rubber bullets.
16. Our team withstood the opponent's fierce onslaught in the final minutes.
17. The sudden onslaught of illness left him bedridden for weeks.
18. The company's marketing campaign faced an onslaught of negative feedback.
19. The onslaught of traffic during rush hour can be maddening.
20. The wildlife sanctuary is under threat from the ongoing onslaught of deforestation.
21. She couldn't withstand the emotional onslaught of the breakup.
22. The onslaught of technological advancements is reshaping industries.
23. The town's defenses crumbled under the relentless onslaught of invaders.
24. The onslaught of questions from reporters left the spokesperson flustered.
25. The onslaught of winter weather led to widespread power outages.
26. The sudden onslaught of nostalgia hit him as he walked down memory lane.
27. The superhero fought valiantly against the villain's relentless onslaught.
28. The restaurant struggled to handle the unexpected onslaught of customers.



attack, retreat, defense, withdrawal


ACT 13 (American College Testing), High School 4, Conflict and Conquest

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